AusCERT warns e-health records can be hacked

By GovTechReview Staff
Tuesday, 08 May, 2012

Australia’s emerging personally controlled e-health record (PCEHR) system will be a target for hackers keen to harvest its sensitive personal information, computer emergency response team AusCERT has told a Senate inquiry.

No matter the protections put around the PCEHR records themselves, an AusCERT submission said the design of the system to allow secure Internet access was misleading because consumers accessing their information online would leave their personal data open to compromise.

Risks could arise “if individuals do not understand the risks to their e-health record online when using a computer which is not properly secured,” the organisation’s submission noted, warning that the government “is promoting the benefits of PCEHR over the Internet on the basis that it will be secure...These statements cannot be assured and are misleading.”

A stronger focus on endpoint security would be necessary to meet the government’s assurances of data security, the organisation warned, noting that efforts to date have mainly focused on back-end security.

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