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Medical Server Hacked to Host “Call Of Duty” Multiplayer

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Posted on April 7th, 2011 by Victoria Pal in Tech

Bizarre acts take place on the Internet. Recently a server storing patient data got hacked for the sole purpose of hosting a multiplayer game. Did I mention 230,000 medical records got exposed? Supposedly the hackers weren’t after the records. The facts say that their only interest was the bandwidth of the server.

So far investigators were able to track the origin of the attack to the Scandinavians. It is not clear why and how the conclusion was made. It seems like after that infamous torrent tracker appeared, Scandinavians became notorious for their computer enterprises.

Call of duty The breach was discovered in November 2010, when the administrators noticed loss of bandwidth. The scariest fact is no one is able to determine when exactly the hackers got access to the server. It sounds a bit cheesy, but someone would have enjoyed a decent server monitoring service to get an earlier wake-up call on this one.

We are not saying that our services would have prevented the server from being hacked, or a loud alarm sound would have rendered the system administrators deaf upon the breach. The first thing we would have noticed instantly is the increase in response time, due to heavier load on the server and network. When 230,000 people trust you with their data, without even knowing the risks, it seems you need all possible measures to prevent unwanted tempering. That would have been a few dollars well spent.

The guys who hacked the server did pretty well in covering their tracks. Only time will tell how well, but they certainly did better than the last notable medical server hack attempt. Back in 2007 an angry employee of Medco Health Solutions wrote a malicious piece of software to execute on his birthday. Thanks to a coding error nothing “blew up”. Well, nothing except that guy’s career. One of the 70 servers which would have been affected, had the plan worked, was responsible for keeping track of what drugs a patient is currently taking, preventing malicious interactions between two or more drugs. Luckily, a system administrator was investigating a system error at the time and so he discovered and neutralized the malicious code on the spot.

Victoria Pal

Doesn't like queuing (particularly at Wimbledon). Likes travelling, tennis and reading. Loves working as a Project Manager at WebSitePulse.

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