Iowa Veterans Home Caught in Cyber Warfare

Our veterans have made many sacrifices to help keep the democratic United States a strong and respected nation. It's through the sacrifices made by men and women in the armed forces who help people from different backgrounds and with different beliefs recognize the importance of unity.

It's for these reasons that the cyberattack unleashed on the Iowa Veterans Home in late April is such a disgrace. Almost 3,000 veterans may have had their financial and medical information breached by a malicious hacker.

Unlike banking numbers, medical information is far more valuable on the dark web, the reason for this being is that you cannot erase or change your medical information. Hackers take the medical and health insurance information of their victims and use it to purchase medical equipment and commit insurance fraud.

Cyber healthcare coverage is vital to retirement and nursing homes for the very situation that could rise, as described above: good, hardworking people could be taken advantage of, and not only that; if you own a retirement home and it comes under cyberattack, you will be the one left to make the financial reparations. Without cyber healthcare coverage, your retired charges won't only have had their identities stolen, potentially wrecking their golden years, but you'll be out of a business.

Cyber Warfare: Recognizing a Scam
In February of this year, the state of Iowa had been hit with a barrage of phishing scams. The Iowa Veterans Home (IVH) was one of the targets. According to Massive Alliance, three IVH staff members fell victim to the phishing scam and released their email credentials to the cybercriminal.

While most phishing scams are sent directly to the spam folder, cyber crooks are becoming craftier in the phishing email's construction. What does this mean for your inbox? It means that you'll have to be considerably more careful opening email and clicking on its directed links; it could be a scam!

In regards to IVH (and this is still under investigation), the hack could have stolen the telephone numbers, names, addresses, health insurance and social security numbers of the veterans currently living in the home and of those who have applied to be part of the community. Massive Alliance continues to report that \"it appears that the [veteran] accounts had not been accessed before they were quickly blocked.\" This is great news, but it doesn't mean that the cybercriminal wasn't able to download some of the information. As the investigation is still ongoing, it's not yet known if the cyber hacker was able to get some of this information.

The IVH responded to the security breach with aplomb; they shut down the cybercriminal's access and contacted current, past and prospective veteran tenants and alerted them of the situation. The next step that IVH likely took was contacting their cybersecurity agent to file a claim. Hopefully (and as three IVH employees made the same mistake) the Iowa Veterans House will go have a cyber training program with their employees so that this type of cyberwarfare does not occur again.

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