Archive for the ‘Malware’ category

Phishing Scam at Baystate Health

October 26th, 2016

Baystate Health which is based in Massachusetts recently suffered data breach when several of its employees had fallen victim to a phishing scam. The incident potentially impacted the information of approximately 13,000 patients. scam

Baystate Health is a not-for-profit integrated health care system. It is serving over 800,000 people in western New England. More than 140 years, Baystate Health has been providing skilled and compassionate health care in the region. More than 12,000 team members works for Baystate Health. It is one of western Massachusetts’ strongest economic engines.

On August 22, 2016, facility learned that five of its employees replied to a phishing email. As per the reports, the email was designed by hackers to look like an internal Baystate memo. Certain patient information was accessed by the hackers.

Social Security numbers and other financial information were not included in the emails. Affected information includes patient names, dates of birth, diagnoses, treatments received, medical record numbers and, in some instances, health insurance identification numbers.

Baystate believes that there is no indication that patient information was misused. Facility took steps to secure the email accounts and began an investigation. The incident is also reported to law enforcement.

“Baystate is committed to protecting private information and is taking this matter very seriously,” the statement read. “To help prevent a similar event from happening again, we are increasing our employee training about phishing emails.”

Baystate did not mention number of affected individuals. But as per the OCR data breach reporting tool, accurately 13,112 individuals were affected.

As per the Baystate, “We mailed letters to people who may have been affected. If you believe you may be affected and have not received a letter by November 5, 2016, or if you have any questions about this incident, please call.”

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Ransomware attack affects 33K

October 23rd, 2016

Rainbow Children’s Clinic recently suffered a ransomware attack. According to the reports, the attack left the data encrypted which was stored on the facility’s system. Rainbow mentioned that it shut down the computer system immediately to prevent the information from being lost.

But a forensic investigation team found that the patient records has been irretrievably deleted. Affected information includes patient names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and medical information.

Ransomware is computer malware that installs on a victim’s computer. Hackers use the technique mostly for the purpose of extorting money. It encrypts data with certain passcode. A ransom payment is asked to decrypt it or not to publish it publicly. Simple ransomware may lock the system but the data can be recovered by a knowledgeable person. More advanced malware encryption makes data inaccessible.

Other information which got impacted in Rainbow Clinic incident involves personal information related to patients’ payment guarantors, including guarantors’ names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and medical payment information. Facility mentioned that the affected individuals will be offered complimentary identity monitoring and identity theft resolution services.

“Rainbow Children’s Clinic takes the security of its patients’ information very seriously and has taken steps to prevent a similar event from occurring in the future, including strengthening its security measures and ensuring that its networks and systems are now secure,” Rainbow said.

As per the OCR data breach reporting tool, total 33,698 records got affected. As per the statement:

Notification letters mailed today include information about the incident and steps potentially impacted individuals can take to monitor and protect their personal information. Rainbow Children’s Clinic has established a toll-free call center to answer patient questions about the incident and related concerns. Additional information and recommendations for protecting personal information can be found on the Rainbow Children’s Clinic website.

The privacy and protection of patient information is a top priority, and Rainbow Children’s Clinic deeply regrets any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause.

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Cloud Security Survey

October 14th, 2016

A latest survey of 643 IT security professionals in the U.S. And Canada found that around forty eight percent of respondents do not scrutinize the cloud for malware. Another 12 percent are uncertain if they do or not.

The survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Netskope, also found that while 49 percent of company applications are actually saved in the cloud, only 45 percent of these applications are known, approved or authorized by IT. Over 50% of respondents said that the  chance of a data breach is looming over the industry. Nearly 20 percent are not able to ascertain whether they have experienced a violation or not.

“These data confirm that while cloud adoption is very much on the rise, organizations still lack confidence in the cloud’s ability to protect sensitive information,” Netskope founder and CEO Sanjay Beri said in a statement.

“With the rise of cloud threats like accidental data exposure, malware and ransomware aimed at exfiltrating data and extracting financial gain from sensitive data, IT teams need more robust intelligence, protection, and remediation to protect their data from breach or loss,” Beri added.

Many said the violation happened when information was shown to a user from the cloud-based service, either unintentionally or deliberately. Respondents concerns about cloud protection threats are loss or theft of intellectual property, loss of control over the security of information and end user activities, and compliance breaches.

A different Blancco Technology Group study in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., Germany, France, India, Japan and China found that 26 percent of participants are not confident or fairly comfortable with the security cloud services offers.

“Whenever storing data offsite with a cloud provider, organizations must be diligent in knowing where their data is being stored, how it’s being protected and when it needs to be removed (in the case of migrating data to a new vendor or consolidating data centers, for example),” Blancco Technology Group chief strategy officer Richard Stiennon said in a statement.

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Ransomware and data breach

October 7th, 2016

Urgent Care Clinic of Oxford in Mississippi recently suffered data breach due to ransomware attack.  According to the reports, the server was attacked in early July. The facility came to know about the incident on August 2, 2016.

As per the statement, “ We understand this may pose an inconvenience to you, and we sincerely regret that this situation has occurred.”

Facility regained control of the server and shut down its remote access. It is taking precaution to prevent the same type of incident. Affected information included patients’ names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and other personal information. Any health information on file was also accessed.

“The investigation revealed it is very likely that the attack was carried out by criminal Russian hackers,” Urgent Care said in a letter signed by Dr. Willis Dabbs and Dr. David Coon. “Unfortunately, we cannot say which patients specifically may have been affected by this data breach.”

Facility did not specify number of affected patients by the incident. It has urged individuals to regularly check all credit and bank accounts and report any suspicious activity. Facility is also offering one year of complimentary identity protection services.

“We understand this may pose an inconvenience to you, and we sincerely regret that this situation has occurred,” Dabbs and Coon wrote. “Urgent Care is committed to providing quality care and service to all its patients, and that includes keeping your personal information as safe and secure as possible.”

Direction to place fraud alert:

A fraud alert is a consumer statement added to your credit report. This statement alerts creditors of possible fraudulent activity within your report as well as requests that they contact you prior to establishing any accounts in your name. Once the fraud alert is added to your credit report, all creditors should contact you prior to establishing any account in your name.

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Hacking causes EHR breach

August 2nd, 2016

As per the notice on website, Athens Orthopedic Clinic in Georgia mentioned that it has experienced a potential EHR breach after a healthcare cybersecurity incident. Facility said that an external entity had launched a cyberattack on its EHR system using a third-party vendor’s credentials.

Affected information included names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, telephone numbers, and, in some cases, diagnoses and partial medical histories. Facility did not mention the number of individuals affected.

Many have earlier mentioned the need to strengthen healthcare systems.

“You rarely hear healthcare as the focus of the cyber-security industry,” Ralph Echemendia, CEO of cyber-security consulting firm Red-e Digital says. “With the Sony hack, an entire corporation was taken completely down. Nobody could go to work. If you do that to a hospital, people die.”

Cybersecurity experts were hired to investigate the attack and assess facility systems. Cybersecurity firm’s recommendations are implemented to improve healthcare data security.

“We are in the process of notifying the affected patients, and deeply regret any stress this may cause our patients,” Kayo Elliott, CEO of Athens Orthopedic Clinic told OnlineAthens.com.

“Rest assured that we are taking all necessary measures to ensure that any resulting damage is limited to the extent possible and working to retain your trust in our practice. We advise that our patients contact credit reporting agencies to create a fraud alert as soon as possible; we have posted a statement on our website that includes credit reporting agency contact information.”

According to the website:

Athens Orthopedic Clinic has been providing comprehensive orthopedic care to Athens and surrounding communities since 1966. AOC is a healthcare facility with a long-standing tradition of excellence and service. As a total orthopedic care center, our physicians specialize in orthopedic surgery and handle the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries of the bones, muscles, tendons, nerves and ligaments in both adults and children.

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Data breach at North Ottowa Medical Group

July 20th, 2016

North Ottowa Medical Group suffered data breach along with many other healthcare facilities due to hacking incident at Bizmatics, an EHR vendor. Bizmatics notified Michigan-based medical group  about the data breach. It mentioned unauthorised user access of its server, but didn’t confirm whether North Ottawa Medical Group data was accessed or not.

According to the reports, about 22,000 individuals were affected by the healthcare data security event. Possible affected data relates to patients at the medical group’s employed physician practices, including the internal medicine, family practice, and women’s health offices.Disclosed information included names, addresses, health visit information, treatments, health insurance information, and Social Security numbers. The incident may have also exposed the last four digits of a credit card number for some patients.

The medical center mentioned that an independent cyber forensics firm, hired by Bizmatics, is working with the vendor. Also, law enforcement officials conducted a criminal investigation.

“These investigations found that there was no reason to believe patient files were the target of the attack,” the press release stated. “Further, investigators could not conclusively determine if there was, in fact, a PHI breach at all.”

North Ottowa Medical Center has notified affected individuals and the Department of Health and Human Services of the incident. Complimentary identity recovery assistance services for a year is also setup.

According to the website:

Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, NOCHS has reported this incident to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and is treating the situation as though an actual breach occurred. Therefore, in accordance with HIPAA law NOCHS has notified DHHS, NOMG patients, and by way of this news release, the community. NOMG patients will also receive identity recovery assistance services for a year, at no cost.

The North Ottawa Medical Group doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners work directly for and within the North Ottawa Community Health System and your community hospital. Our mission is to develop a personal, long-term relationship with you, as well as be our community’s most trusted, local partner in creating a healthier future for all.

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AK healthcare data breach

July 18th, 2016

Hacking incident at Bizmatics has led to many healthcare data breaches. AK healthcare organization has  reported another data breach due to Bizmatics EHR breach. Medical record information exposed included names, addresses, dates of birth, insurance information, Social Security numbers, and clinical documentation.

Bizmatics has alerted the healthcare organization about the hacking incident and possible data breach. Arkansas Spine and Pain mentioned that some of its patient files were viewed unauthorizedly.

Pain mentioned that the intruders accessed vendor’s system by installing malware. Bizmatics could not confirm if any of the healthcare organization’s EHR files were accessed by the hackers. Facility has notified all potentially affected individuals.

AK healthcare added that Bizmatics was “taking steps to further strengthen its defenses against cyberattacks, including hardening its firewall and network configurations.”

“We have also been assured by Bizmatics that they are committed to ensuring its systems are as secure as they can be in our current environment,” the statement explained.

Earlier Bizmatics has notified many other healthcare providers of potential EHR breaches after hackers accessed its servers containing medical records. One such example include Florida-based Southeast Eye Institute, PA. It has contacted over 87,000 patients of a possible healthcare data breach. Integrated Health Solutions in Pennsylvania also suffered data breach.

According to the website:

Arkansas Spine and Pain (ASAP) is Central Arkansas’ leading program for the management, treatment and rehabilitation for spine and pain relief and sports-related injuries.At Arkansas Spine and Pain we consider the whole person and their family when treating the pain. Pain Clinic staff work with other health care professionals, physical therapists, family physicians and services that might be needed such as social workers, hospice, home care agencies, behavioral health specialists to assist with modification of life styles and to encourage retaining and regaining maximum quality of life.

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Malware attack and Data Breach

May 19th, 2016

Michigan-based Complete Chiropractic and Bodywork Therapies may have suffered potential data breach after its  server was accessed by an unauthorized entity. As per the OCR’s data breach portal, around 4,082 individuals were affected by the incident.

According to the statement, an outside entity gained access to a server which stored PHI information. The facility found the intrusion when its server malfunctioned. Afterwards malware infected its systems. Malware probably have scanned its systems to acquire login and password information.Affected information includes patient data, including treatment, billing and EHR information.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we notified all affected patients, offered them one-year of free identity theft protection through LifeLock, and provided them with recommended actions they can take to protect their information from identity theft. For example, we recommend that any affected patients obtain their credit reports from one or more of the major credit reporting agencies, and monitoring financial and bank accounts for unauthorized activity.”

According to EHR systems PHI which includes names, dates of birth, addresses, Social Security numbers, health information, and diagnosis information was encrypted and thus was not breached.

“However, there is no indication that this information was actually taken or inappropriately used – only that there was an opportunity for the same,” explained Complete Chiropractic and Bodywork Therapies.

Practice secured the server by disabling its connection to the internet. Passwords for all workstation and vendor profiles were changed. It also implemented additional security safeguards, such as adding an extra external firewall to track incoming and outgoing traffic. The chiropractic office has notified all affected individuals.

“CCBT [Complete Chiropractic and Bodyworks Therapies] deeply regrets that this incident occurred,” explained the statement. “We are taking this matter very seriously and are working hard to make sure this does not happen again. CCBT hired new IT professionals who come highly recommended based on their HIPAA compliance experience. With the guidance of our new IT professionals, we are adding to the IT safeguards that CCBT already maintained.”

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