Healthcare hacker attempts double in Q4
Security company SecureWorks recently reported that attempted hacker attacks aimed at its healthcare clients doubled in the fourth quarter of 2009 from an average of 6,500 per healthcare client per day in the first nine months of 2009 to an average of 13,400 per client per day in the last three months of 2009.

However, attempted data breaches against other types of organizations protected by SecureWorks did not increase in the fourth quarter.

In the fall of 2009, SecureWorks and the security community began tracking a new wave of attacks involving the latest version of the Butterfly/Mariposa Bot malware, according to the Atlanta-based company. When a computer is infected with the Butterfly malware, it can be used to steal data stored by the victim’s browser, launch distributed denial of service attacks, spread via USB devices or peer to peer and download additional malware onto the infected computer, SecureWorks reported.

“From October through December of 2009, we blocked hundreds of SQL Injection and Butterfly/Mariposa Bot malware attacks launched at our healthcare clients,” said Hunter King, security researcher with SecureWorks’ Counter Threat Unit SM.