Hack

Bizmatics and data breach

June 20th, 2016

As per the HIPAA notification letter on the ENT and Allergy Center’s website, yet another medical center suffered potential healthcare data breach due to hacking incident. Affected information included names, addresses, healthcare visit information, and the last four digits of Social Security numbers. The EHR files did not contain credit card numbers or any other financial information.

According to the Office of Civil Rights data breach tool, 16,200 individuals were affected by the healthcare data security incident. Facility mentioned that there EHR vendor’s data servers were attacked by hackers. Servers stored and managed patient files. EHR vendor, Bizmatics discovered the intruder and terminated the access.

Bizmatics mentioned that EHR files may have been viewed or acquired as a result of the possible data breach. It also notified ENT and Allergy Centre but failed to identify which patient files may have been exposed.

Bizmatics reached law enforcement officials and hired a private cybersecurity firm to secure its systems. Investigation is carried by the agency.All affected individuals were notified along with free credit, fraud, and identity-theft monitoring services for a year. A toll-free phone number is also setup to answer questions about the healthcare data security incident. ENT and Allergy Centre mentioned that they are in the process of  implementing safeguards to protect information.

There are several other health care facilities affected by this hacking incident. One example include, Pennsylvania-based Integrated Health Solutions PC incident which affected 19,776 individuals. Also, Southeast Eye Institute PA suffered data breach which affected 87,314 individuals.

According to the ENT and Allergy Center’s website:

We intend to abide by the Final Omnibus Rule of the HIPAA regulations regarding your Protected Health Information, hereafter abbreviated as PHI.  The term PHI refers to your medical records, billing and payment records, your name, address, date of birth, social security number, payment history, the name of your health plan and account number, and other data that identifies you.

We are permitted by law to disclose PHI to you and to anyone who needs it to carry out treatment, payment, or healthcare operations.  We will be required to obtain your signature for authorization to release PHI for most uses unrelated to treatment, payment, and healthcare operations.  We will retain your authorization and provide you a copy if you wish to have it.  PHI will be provided within 30 days of the written request in hard copy form.  Information may be available for transfer onto USB media if the media is provided by the patient.  You may revoke your authorization in writing at any time.

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EHR system hacked

June 15th, 2016

A Pennsylvania-based healthcare facility suffered potential data breach when unauthorized users hacked into its EHR system. The system was managed by Bizmatics. The incident has potentially affected around 19,776 individuals as per the Office of Civil Rights (OCR).

Bizmatics found out that an outside entity accessed its systems, which resulted some patient files to be exposed. Affected information includes names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and healthcare visit information.

Bizmatics did not specify if patient records from Integrated Health Solutions PC were accessed during the hacking incident. To be on safer side, healthcare has taken measures to strengthen healthcare data security policies.

“Integrated Health Solutions, values your privacy and deeply regrets that this incident occurred and is working closely with its advisors and Bizmatics to ensure the incident is properly addressed, including, a review of our data security measures in order to help prevent a recurrence of such an attack,” reported the statement. “We have also contacted relevant state and federal authorities regarding this issue.”

It had informed several other organizations of potential healthcare data breaches that left EHR files exposed to outside entities. Bizmatics also suffered data breach early this year.

One example includes that of Florida-based Southeast Eye Institute, PA. It notified 87,314 individuals due to hacking incident which was managed by Bizmatics. Another example involved 19,937 patients at the Pain Treatments Center of America (PTCOA) and Interventional Surgery Institute (ISI) in Arkansas which was affected by data breach.

“We have no reason to believe that our patient files were the target of the hackers’ attack on Bizmatics,” wrote PTCOA and ISI. “Due to the nature of the attack, Bizmatics cannot say for certain that PTCOA’s patient files were among the data that was accessed or acquired by the hacker.”

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Alertsec is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

Unauthorized access and data breach

May 31st, 2016

The Southeast Eye Institute, PA, or Eye Associates of Pinellas recently suffered a possible healthcare data breach. The incident occurred due to hacking incident.  An unauthorized party accessed patient files which was managed by a third-party vendor.The number of affected patients stands at 87,314 individuals as per Office of Civil Rights (OCR) data breach portal.

“We have learned that Bizmatics became aware of the incident in late 2015, but neither Bizmatics, law enforcement, nor the cyber forensics firm is able to pinpoint the precise date on which the attack began. Bizmatics has communicated to us that it believes the incident began in early 2015.”

Bizmatics Inc, an off-site vendor for Southeast Eye Institute was attacked by hackers. Affected information included names, addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and insurance information. The practice reported that medical and financial information was not involved in the event.

Bizmatics Inc mentioned that patient information was segregated into several different files. The purpose was to increase healthcare data security measures. It didn’t mention whether hackers were able to combine all the data. It didn’t confirm the type of patients file which were affected.

Southeast East Institute mentioned that affected patients included who visited the facility an on or before November 16, 2015.

“We have no reason to believe that our patient files were the target of the hackers’ attack on Bizmatics. Due to the nature of the attack, Bizmatics cannot say for certain that PTCOA’s patient files were among the data that was accessed or acquired by the hacker.”

Southeast Eye Institute no longer works with Bizmatics Inc. However, the Bizmatics Inc. contacted the FBI. It also hired a cybersecurity firm to improve its data security measures which includes strengthening firewalls and network configurations.

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Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption software.

Hacking incident and data breach

May 24th, 2016

Indiana-based Lafayette Pain Care PC recently suffered probable data breach after an outside entity accessed some patients EHR data. According to the OCR data breach portal, around 7,500 individuals were affected by the possible PHI breach.

As per the statement, “Lafayette Pain Care’s EHR management vendor experienced a hacking incident that could have resulted in some patient files being exposed to intruders. The potential healthcare data breach affected multiple EHR systems across the country, confirmed the statement.”

“All this said, our electronic medical records provider has informed us that it is not aware of any evidence that our patient records were in fact accessed or acquired by any unauthorized persons,” as per the website.

Lafayette Pain Care has notified affected individuals and has asked patients to monitor their credit accounts. It also advised to report any suspicious or inappropriate activity. It has also offered free credit monitoring services to affected and verified patients.

“We do recommend that our patients check with their local credit bureau or credit monitoring agency (such as TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax) for any unauthorized activity with their credit or identity. Patients can also utilize the site www.annualcreditreport.com to review their credit report annually.”

“If any unauthorized activity is noted, it should be reported appropriately. We recommend that all persons receiving medical or surgical care, regularly review their Explanation of Benefits forms to confirm the accuracy of included listed services.”

According to the statement:

Lafayette Pain Care is pleased to welcome new patients to our practice. As a valued customer of our practice, we maintain complete records on you to ensure that we can always communicate with you promptly, treat you in the most appropriate and effective manner, coordinate with your other doctors where needed, and ensure your care is paid for by insurance or other means.

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Alertsec is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

A medical group suffers data breach

May 13th, 2016

Hacking incident may have affected medical group in Texas. The incident may have exposed patient and employee information. According to the reports, approximately 50,000 individuals were affected by the healthcare data security breach at the Medical Colleagues of Texas, LLP. Affected information included employee and patient information, such as names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and health insurance information.

“It’s a lot of records,” stated Dallas attorney Lindsay B. Nickle, who signifies the audience, Medical Co-workers of Texas.

According to the statement,

‘We sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern this matter may cause and remain dedicated to protecting patients’ information.’

The Medical Colleagues of Texas, LLP mentioned that it discovered an outside element accessing its computer network. The relevant network stored EHR and personnel data. After it came to know about the breach, the healthcare system conducted an internal investigation. It also hired an independent forensic expert  who will examine and secure the network.

“We do not know who, we do not know where,” she stated. “We simply realize that online hackers experienced the network.”

The healthcare system has notified affected individuals  through mail. It also established a call center to address any questions or concerns. Free credit monitoring services for impacted patients are created.

“In addition, since this event was discovered, we have taken steps to prevent this type of event from happening again, including updating our computer network, strengthening our firewalls, and implementing two factor authorization measures for remote access,” explained Medical Colleagues of Texas, LLP in the notice. “We are also providing additional training and strengthening our policies and procedures in regards to the protection of sensitive personal information.”

“Medical Colleagues of Texas takes the privacy and security of protected information very seriously, and although we are not aware of the misuse of any information”

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Alertsec is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

Healthcare Data Security and Hackers

April 9th, 2016

In recent times, hackers are looking for innovative ways to infiltrate through covered networks. With digitization of healthcare industry comes challenges to secure patient information. But the change has brought speed, efficiency, and effectiveness to treat patients and prevent diseases. The scenario is also boon for hackers. All the sensitive data is now present on the server which can be hacked.

According to the reports, the healthcare industry was the most targeted sector for cyber attacks in 2015. Cyber

attacks have compromised over 100 million medical records.  Attack on Anthem’s network resulted into 70% of all compromised records.

According to the CEO of Vigitrust, Mathieu Gorge,  “The first thing to consider is the actual value of the patient data, so if you go to a hospital or to your GP, data that is held about you has a lot of value to you and we need to protect the confidentiality and integrity of that.”

The reason behind the cyber attacks on healthcare are on the rise due to following reasons

 Sensitive Personal Information

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) is being used frequently in the healthcare industry. The availability of information lures hackers to get ransom for sensitive information.  Sometime attack lock medical histories, psychological profiles, and family connections to billing data and addresses. Hackers can then demand money to unlock affected information.
Hackers can also indulge in activities like insurance fraud, identity theft, and extorting victims. The most shocking fact of the medical information is that it can be used number of times unlike credit cards which can be blocked immediately.  Also, healthcare data is extremely valuable in the black market.

Taking advantage of Intellectual Property
Considering R& D department of big companies, there is possibility of cyber attack to gain access to intellectual property. Due to competitive market, the price of intellectual property sky rockets in the grey market.

Lack of Awareness
Recent trends show that the healthcare industry is undergoing fast transition towards digitization. IT is migrating health records to digital and using new storage and processing techniques to analyze patient data. But the pace with which data is translated is not reflected into security aspects. One needs to keep security process intact to safeguard data.

Human Resources
There is a lack of security professionals in the healthcare industry. Many who are working in the industry don’t have enough knowledge to handle sophisticated cyber attack.

Innovation in Attack
Below are the few examples where hackers have gone beyond the conventional attack. Example includes – remotely modifying the dosage rates of an insulin pump and manipulation of baby monitors.

To safeguard data, Gorge suggest that, “The first thing to do, if you are an entity that has access to health records, is to make sure you have a data classification policy. This allows you to do an inventory of your data: The structured data, the unstructured data, that you hold yourself, and the data that you might need to access that might be held by another entity.”

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Alertsec is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

1.5 million affected in Co Clare-based Company data breach

November 12th, 2013

Co Clare-based Company which manages customer loyalty schemes across Europe had a major security breach in which more than 1.5 million people’s personal information was compromised.

A Garda investigation has been launched into what is fast becoming one of the worst data breaches in the history of the State.

Credit card details of nearly 400,000 people in Europe – including almost 70,000 in Ireland – have been compromised after criminals successfully targeted the Loyaltybuild rewards company and exposed various weaknesses in its security systems.

Moreover, credit card details of more than 150,000 people was compromised while the names, addresses, telephone numbers and emails of more than 1.1 million customers of companies who were doing business with the company across Europe were also taken in this data breach incident.

The company has lodged a formal complaint to the Garda and two investigators from the office of the Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes were sent to the company.

Mr Hawkes confirmed that the financial information had been stored in unencrypted form, along with the three-digit security code printed on customers’ cards.

The commissioner’s office said this evening that it had been able to establish the attack was carried out by external sources but stressed that it was too early to say where it had originated.

Loyaltybuild said “We are working around the clock with our security experts to get to the bottom of this and to further enhance our security in order to protect our valued customers, who are of paramount importance to us”.

Around 70,000 of Supervalu customers are at a “high risk” of having their payment details accessed by an unauthorised third party with those affected having paid for Supervalu Getaway Breaks.

The company managing the rewards programme has informed the Data Protection Commissioner of the potential breach and it stressed that all payment card information it holds is encrypted.

“We immediately engaged the services of a firm of leading, international, online security experts. They are conducting a forensic investigation to help us identify whether any of our stored data was compromised, and, if so, to what extent” a spokeswoman said.

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.

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Largest Data-Breach Scheme in U.S.

August 15th, 2013

Five hackers were charged in the largest hacking scheme ever in U.S. history. It was a break-in to computers of retail chains that included 7-Eleven Inc. and Carrefour SA (CA), said the French retailer.

This hacking scheme targeted the Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ) and 800,000 bank accounts at Citigroup Inc. (C) and PNC Financial Services Group Inc.

Paul Fishman, the U.S. attorney in New Jersey said “In this worldwide scheme that targeted major corporate networks, the hackers stole more than 160 million credit card numbers and resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses”.

He further commented “this type of crime is the cutting edge. Those who have the expertise and the inclination to break into our computer networks threaten our economic well-being, our privacy and our national security.”

“Sniffer” programs were used to steal credit card information, by targeting companies that processed financial transactions and retailers that received and transmitted financial data.

According to an indictment unsealed in federal court in New Jersey, “The five men operated ‘a prolific hacking organization’ that penetrated the secure computer networks of several of the largest payment-processing companies, retailers and financial institutions in the world”.

 

The data stolen by the hackers, known as “dump”, was sold to “dumps resellers”, who then sold it to organizations or individuals through online forums.

The men encoded the data into the magnetic strips of blank plastic cards and withdrew money from automated teller machines and made credit-card purchases, the U.S. said.

“Financial institutions, credit card companies and consumers suffered hundreds of millions in losses, including losses in excess of $300 million by just three of the corporate victims, and immeasurable losses to identity-theft victims,” according to the indictment.

The hackers used the stolen data to create ATM cards, which were used to withdraw $2.9 million from Citibank accounts. Back in 2008, Citibank’s online banking website was attacked by use of a computer program, it resulted in the theft of account information of more than 300,000 accounts. That data was also stolen to create ATM cards and it led to theft of $3.6 million.

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.

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Windows RT hack Don’t sweat it, Microsoft says

January 3rd, 2013

Windows RT can be hacked to run unsigned desktop apps, but Microsoft sees no reason to worry.

As described yesterday, the hack allows someone with a certain amount of savvy to change code in the Windows RT kernel so the tablet-based OS can run desktop apps. Officially, the only desktop programs that Windows RT supports are Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer and Office suite. Otherwise, the OS can run only Windows Store apps.

But the hack isn’t geared for the average Windows RT user.

Besides requiring the necessary programming chops, the hack can only change code in memory. So a user would have to modify the code each time the device boots up.

Further, desktop applications would have to be recompiled for ARM processors, so users couldn’t just run their existing desktop programs, which are designed for Intel x86 processors.

In a statement sent to CNET, Microsoft cautioned that the hack poses no security threat and actually applauded the people who discovered the hack. But the company also hinted that the hack may be eliminated in a future update to RT.

The scenario outlined is not a security vulnerability and does not pose a threat to Windows RT users. The mechanism described is not something the average user could, or reasonably would, leverage as it requires local access to a system, local administration rights and a debugger in order to work. In addition, the Windows Store is the only supported method for customers to install applications for Windows RT. There are mechanisms in place to scan for security threats and help ensure that apps from the Store are legitimate and can be acquired and used with confidence. We applaud the ingenuity of the folks who worked this out and the hard work they did to document it. We’ll not guarantee these approaches will be there in future releases.

The hack was uncovered by someone dubbed clrokr, who described how he was able to change a certain value in the RT kernel to expand the types of apps RT can run. Through his efforts, the hacker also discovered that Windows RT isn’t that differentfrom Windows 8, calling Windows RT “a clean port of Windows 8.”

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Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

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