Protenus, a healthcare analytics firm, says hackers and other bad actors breached 32 million patient records in the first six months of 2019. That’s double the total breaches for all of 2018.
2019 is shaping up to be a bad year for personal information. With 32 million patient records stolen in just six months and no signs of slowing down, it seems like everybody is receiving notice to lock down their credit. And that’s to say nothing of breaches in other institutions.
According to Protenus, hackers were responsible for 60 percent of the breaches in those six months and hospital insiders were responsible for a total of three million patient records stolen.
In the single most significant breach, hackers targetted a medical collections agency and stole the patient records for 20 million people. That stolen data ended up for sale on the dark web.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent someone from stealing your data from a hospital or doctor’s office. Ultimately, it’s up to the institutions to implement better security. The best thing you can do currently is to freeze your credit. You may want to consider the freeze even if you’re the last person on Earth who hasn’t had their data stolen. [Engadget]
In Other News:
- Lyft pulled 1,000 electric bikes from service after two fires: Two Lyft e-bikes caught fire while in their docks in San Francisco. Given the nightmare scenario of riding a bike that catches on fire, Lyft has wisely chosen to take its e-bikes out of service while it investigates what happened. [Gizmodo]
- Google is actively testing a new Play Pass subscription service: Subscriptions for app stores are on the way. Apple is working on an Arcade subscription service and Google is testing the waters with a Play Pass subscription. According to screenshots, $5 a month gives you access to hundreds of apps and games. [Android Police]
- Alexa may answer more complicated questions in the future: Amazon is working on making Alexa more intelligent. That includes complicated questions such as, “Which Nolan films won an Oscar but missed a Golden Globe?” The process is complicated because Alexa needs to figure out you mean Christopher Nolan, find his awards for Oscars and Golden Globes, and then compare and contrast that information. But Amazon says it has the process figured out. Neat! [TechCrunch]
- Apple is joining the Data Transfer Project: Last year, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter launched the Data Transfer Project. The goal is to make it easy for you to transfer data from one service to another. Eventually, that would entail direct transfers with no download on your part. Apple joining adds another strong voice to the plan to give you greater control of your data. [The Verge]
- NanoLeaf’s smart lights will double as smart buttons for Homekit: If you have (or are interested in) NanoLeaf’s beautiful modular smart light squares, the devices are picking up a new feature—touch controls. You’ll soon be able to touch the lights to control your smart home, at least if you have a Homekit powered home. Hopefully, they will expand to other ecosystems in the future. [MacRumors]
The Solar Light Sail 2, currently cruising above the Earth, is raising its orbit. That may not seem impressive at first, but the spacecraft is using light for propulsion. The craft has a boxing ring sized sail designed to catch light particles. While light particles don’t have mass, they do have carry momentum. In this case, enough to give the spacecraft a push.
The Solar Light Sail 2 is in an elliptical orbit, so eventually, it will come crashing down to Earth. Raising it’s orbit right now will only speed up that process. But the project proves that solar sails are viable means of propulsion for satellites too small to depend on traditional fuel engines. [Space.com]