Some hospitals are emerging as a major target for hackers seeking personal information they can steal.  Dr. Elmer Bernstam says UT Health Medical Center holds important personal information on 1-point-9 million patients.  That catches the attention of hackers.

“Health information is just better for that purpose than many other kinds of information,” says Dr. Bernstam.  “For example, it includes where you've lived over time and it may be more valuable to identity thieves.”

Bernstam is Associate Dean for research at the School of Biomedical Informatics.  He says studies show hackers which attack health facilities aren't looking medical information to use for extortion.  They simply use it to assume patient identifications to steal money.

“We haven't been able to find a whole lot of evidence,” he says, “of extortion or use of health information, per se, against a person.

There have been no successful hacks at UT-Health and law requires immediate reporting.