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Cyber Security Threats to Public Health

Daniel J. Barnett, Tara Kirk Sell, Robert K. Lord, Curtis J. Jenkins, James W. Terbush, Thomas A. Burke
Date posted:
March 18, 2013
Publication type:
World Med Health Policy 2013;5(1):37-46
John Wiley & Sons
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The vulnerability of the public’s health to cyber security threats has received insufficient attention in the research literature to date, and has yet to be well understood (Harries & Yellowlees, 2013). This paper is intended as a step toward analyzing cyber-related public health challenges in a systematic fashion. The research gaps on cyber security and public health are particularly striking in light of an April 2012 report by the Government Accountability Office, which noted not only the ever-increasing prevalence of cyber security threats (“cyber threats”), but the many intentional and unintentional sources from which such threats can originate, the numerous targets that malicious actors might exploit, and the varied tools at the disposal of those who would seek to launch cyber attacks (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2012a). The adage noted by security expert Bruce Schneier in his 2012 Science piece rings truer with each passing day: “Everything gets hacked” (Schneier, 2012).”



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