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Ransomware Attack on Shingle Springs Health and Wellness Center impacted more than 21,000 patients

 

Shingle Springs Health and Wellness Center (SSHWC) based in Placerville, California, is informing 21,513 patients that PHI (Protected Health Information) was possibly compromised due to the recent ransomware attack.

 

The SSHWC came to know on Apr. 7, 2019, that their server infrastructure has been compromised and ransomware was deployed. Due to this recent cyberattack, all of their computer systems had become inoperable as well as access to the patient data along with essential files have been blocked.

 

An investigation has been immediately launched. Moreover, the cyberattack has been reported to the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) as well as Indian Health Service. Shingle Springs Health and Wellness Center has installed new servers now, and is fast-tracking the system upgrades along with the workstation updates across all the departments.

 

This recent ransomware attack on Shingle Springs Health and Wellness Center is assumed to have been conducted for extorting money from them. However, the files containing protected health information were involved in this breach and thus could possibly being compromised. Those files contain the names, telephone numbers, addresses, Social Security numbers, provider names, health insurance information, dates of service, diagnosis codes, and amount owed or paid. All the affected patients were offered 12 months of free credit monitoring services by SSHWC.

 

It is confirmed that the ransomware is becoming popular with the hackers once again, according to the latest report from the Malwarebytes.

 

While 71% of the ransomware events in 2018 have targeted the small businesses, the annual Data Breach Investigation report of Verizon found that 70% of all the malware attacks during last year have been ransomware. The security researchers warned that although other sectors seen an enormous decline in the ransomware attacks, the healthcare sector remains as the prime target for the hackers due to their need for continuous data access.

 

Ransomware attacks on the business targets have increased by 195% in first quarter of this year (i.e. 2019), and the healthcare organizations constitutes large percentage of those ransomware attacks. So to ensure that one is not left at mercy of the cybercriminals, it is necessary to adopt robust backup strategy which sees several backup copies being created, with one of those copies getting stored off-site in a safe location on non-networked device.

 

» SPAMfighter News - 10-07-2019

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