Reading – Why hackers want your health care data most of all


“Financial data has a finite lifespan because it becomes worthless the second the customer detects the fraud and cancels the card or account. Most forums for such data have a high enough surplus of stolen payment cards that they have fire sales.
But information contained in health care records has a much longer shelf life and is rich enough for identity theft. Social Security numbers can’t easily be cancelled, and medical and prescription records are permanent. There’s also a large market for health insurance fraud and abuse, which may be more lucrative than simply selling the records outright in forums.”

This is a good analysis of why having your healthcare data stolen is actually worse than something like credit card information, but it also misses another big reason.

How much would some people pay to keep treatments they might have had a secret from the public, or potential employers?

Now, before you answer “I have nothing to hide”, imagine a world where your health information was online and potential employers could actually determine whether you were a risk for long-term health complications before offering you a job, and health insurance? No, it would be illegal for them to base a hiring decision on that, but good luck proving they didn’t just choose someone else for other reasons.

Why hackers want your health care data most of all

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