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Berry Family Services paid ransom to hackers

Berry Family Services, based in Rowlett city of Texas State in U.S., which offers health services to the disabled people as well as their families, suffered from ransomware attack on Jul. 10, 2019. This ransomware attack on Berry Family Services barred the providers from accessing the computer systems.

The ransomware attack has also encrypted personal healthcare information of Berry Family Services customers. The officials decided to pay ransom for recovering the customer information, so as to continue support the Texas Home Living programs as well as Dallas and Rockwell Counties' Home and Community-Based Services. The ransom amount has not been disclosed publicly.

In their substitute notice on Sep. 6, 2019, Berry Family Services said that "although there is no indication that any information was accessed, in an abundance of caution, we have taken steps to notify all customers and to provide resources to assist them".

Berry Family Services thinks that the cybercriminals were looking to extort the money, rather than gaining access and steal patients' sensitive information. Berry Family Services said in their substitute notice that this attack was identified almost immediately, and they began working so as to restore the systems.

Even though the systems were restored by Berry Family Services, but chances of unauthorized data exfiltration and access cannot be ruled out. Berry Family Services has not been aware of any proof that the information was misused. The information that might get exposed in this ransomware attack included the names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, medical insurance information as well as related health information.

The breach report that has been submitted to HHS' Office for Civil Rights shows that 1,751 patients have possibly been affected by this ransomware attack. Berry Family Services has mailed letters to the individuals possibly impacted by this ransomware incident that includes information regarding the incident as well as steps the customers can take so as to monitor and safeguard their personal information. As a precautionary measure, the organization is also offering the affected individuals one year of free identity theft protection and credit monitoring services through Kroll.

Besides, one toll-free call center was also established by Berry Family Services to answer the questions about this incident as well as related concerns.

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