Centura Health hit by phishing attack

April 29th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »


Mercy Regional Medical Center of Durango, Colo.  suffered data breach because of phishing attack. In the recent times, phishing attacks have become more complex. It is observed that it is difficult even for shrewd of users to pick out. Mercy which is owned by Centura Health notified 1000 patients about the incident. Data affected by phishing attack includes names, Social Security numbers, Medicare beneficiary numbers, addresses, dates of birth and phone numbers. It also includes protected health information (PHI) such as diagnoses, dates of service, names of a patient’s treating physician and medical-record numbers.

Statement of Centura read, “We became aware that a small number of employee e-mail accounts may have been accessible as a result of the phishing. We hired an outside forensics expert firm to perform a comprehensive review of the affected employees’ e-mail accounts and confirmed that some of the e-mails contained patient information and may have included patient demographic information and/or clinical information and in some instances Medicare Beneficiary number and Social Security number.”

According to reports, Mercy employees were the target of a phishing email attack in which the hackers tried to obtain user names and passwords.  Phishing email was carefully drafted which gave the impression of authentic communication which trapped some employees to reveal system login information.

“Those steps included immediately stopping the attack, performing an investigation and hiring an outside forensics expert to assist, reinforcing education to all employees regarding ‘phishing’ emails and continuing to implement enhancements for strengthening user login authentication,” the statement read which implies Centura taking steps to implement  and reinforce necessary protective measures to help prevent future occurrences.

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