(Bloomberg News) -- A rise in cyber attacks against doctors and hospitals is costing the U.S. 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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