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Ransomware Attack on EMR Hosting Vendor Compromises Data of Over 16,000 Patients of Redwood Eye Care Center


The medical sector has been struck by ransomware attack again. This time it affected the Redwood Eye Care Center, the ophthalmology practice of Vallejo in California, by a security incident on a third-party, their EMR hosting vendor. The ransomware attack may have exposed personal data of more than 16,000 California residents.


As per a breach notice that was sent to Attorney General by the Redwood Eye Care Center, IT Lighthouse, the third-party vendor who was responsible for maintaining the complete patient medical database of Redwood in their servers, including names, addresses, dates of birth, medical treatment and health insurance details, becomes victim of a ransomware attack in the month of September. The residents who got affected were immediately informed regarding the privacy breach by the Redwood Eye Center.


The notification reads like this "on September 20, 2018, Redwood learned that on September 19, 2018, the third-party vendor that hosts and stores Redwood's electronic medical records experienced a data security incident which affected records pertaining to Redwood patients".


Once Redwood Eye Center came to know about the incident, they worked with IT Lighthouse for investigating the incident. Moreover, the third-party vendor (i.e. IT Lighthouse) has hired a third-party computer forensics company to help with the investigation. Additionally, specialized medical software vendor has been consulted to help the Redwood Eye Center in recovering affected data.


The investigation by Redwood Eye Center determined that this incident might have involved the patient information, which includes patient names, dates of birth, addresses, medical treatment information and health insurance details. The officials further added that Redwood will change their EMR hosting vendor.


As per the notice, "Redwood has taken affirmative steps to prevent a similar situation from arising in the future. These steps include changing medical records hosting vendors and enhancing the security of patient information".


As per the latest report of cybersecurity firm Cryptonite, the ransomware attacks in healthcare sector still continue to remain a problem. However, the attacks have reduced substantially in healthcare sector when compared with same time period of last year as the cyber attackers moves towards more profitable activities, like cryptojacking.


» SPAMfighter News - 12/20/2018

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