The Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) recently issued an Alert warning that “threat actors employing advanced social engineering tactics to target IT help desks in the health sector and gain initial access to target organizations” have been on the rise.

The social engineering scheme starts with a telephone call to the IT help desk from “an area code local to the target organization, claiming to be an employee in a financial role (specifically in revenue cycle or administrator roles). The threat actor is able to provide the required sensitive information for identity verification, including the last four digits of the target employee’s social security number (SSN) and corporate ID number, along with other demographic details. These details were likely obtained from professional networking sites and other publicly available information sources, such as previous data breaches. The threat actor claimed that their phone was broken, and therefore could not log in or receive MFA tokens. The threat actor then successfully convinced the IT help desk to enroll a new device in multi-factor authentication (MFA) to gain access to corporate resources.”

After the threat actor gains access, login information related to payer websites is targeted, and they submit a form to make ACH changes for payer accounts. “Once access has been gained to employee email accounts, they sent instructions to payment processors to divert legitimate payments to attacker-controlled U.S. bank accounts. The funds were then transferred to overseas accounts. During the malicious campaign, the threat actor also registered a domain with a single letter variation of the target organization and created an account impersonating the target organization’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO).”

IC3 provides numerous mitigations to assist with the prevention of these vishing schemes, which are outlined in the Alert.

This post is also being shared on our Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Insider blog. If you’re interested in getting updates on developments affecting data privacy and security, we invite you to subscribe to the blog.