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There is an “increased and imminent” cyber threat against hospitals and health care systems across the US, federal officials warn. 

This is especially alerting after a major ransomware attack shut down a key fuel pipeline. Peter Marks, Chief Information Officer at WakeMed hospital, explained to abc11.com that every organization has been facing these kinds of attacks every day.

Healthcare data could include everything from medical histories of patients, personal identifications, or even billing information. Potentially more valuable, however, is a hospital network that powers MRI machines, nurse stations and emergency departments.

On May 1st, a cyber attack shut down operations at a hospital in San Diego, underscoring the public safety threat that could ensue if a cyberattack proves successful.

Nationally, more than 170 county, city and state governments have been hit by cyberattacks since 2013 across the US.

“During the onset of COVID what we saw was entities being probed to try to find out information on what we were doing as far as our vaccine systems,” North Carolina Department of Information Chief Risk Officer, Maria S. Thompson explains. “It could be to disrupt supply chain.