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(Bloomberg) — A rise in cyber attacks against doctors and hospitals is costing the health care system $6 billion a year as organized criminals who once targeted retailers and financial firms increasingly go after medical records, security researchers say.

Criminal attacks against health care providers have more than doubled in the past five years, with the average data breach costing a hospital $2.1 million, according to a study today from the Ponemon Institute, a security research and consulting firm. Nearly 90 percent of health care providers were hit by breaches in the past two years, half of them criminal in nature, the report found.

 

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