PHI Theft Incidents Reported by Loyola Medicine and Main Street Clinical Associates
Nov13

PHI Theft Incidents Reported by Loyola Medicine and Main Street Clinical Associates

Main Street Clinical Associates, PA., in Durham, NC has informed certain patients that some of their protected health information was stored on devices that were stolen from its offices. The theft occurred when the Main Street offices had been evacuated due to a severe gas explosion. Staff at the office were ordered to evacuate the building on April 10, 2019 following an explosion in an adjacent building. Files and equipment were left on desks due to the urgent evacuation, and the room containing patient records was left unlocked. The damage to the building was extensive. Staff were not permitted to re-enter the building until September 9, 2019. When the staff returned, it was discovered the offices had been looted and equipment had been stolen. Two laptop computers had been taken, along with the cell phone of a clinician, and a printer containing some patient information. Main Street explained in a recent press release that the laptop computers and cell phone were password-protected, as were files that contained patient information. Since they devices were not encrypted, it is...

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Proofpoint Q3 2019 Threat Report Shows Increase in RAT and Banking Trojan Activity
Nov13

Proofpoint Q3 2019 Threat Report Shows Increase in RAT and Banking Trojan Activity

The Proofpoint Q3 2019 Threat Report has been released. The report provides insights into the main threats in Q3, 2019 and reveals the changing tactics, techniques, and procedures used by cybercriminals. The data for the report comes from an analysis of more than 5 billion email messages, hundreds of millions of social media posts, and over 250 million captured malware samples. The report reveals scammers now favor embedded hyperlinks over attachments for spreading malware. 88% of malicious emails that were used to install malware used malicious URLs. This tactic is preferred as it makes it easier to bypass email security defenses. Proofpoint notes that ransomware still poses a significant threat, but it was noticeably absent from most email campaigns. Proofpoint suggests that the fall in the value of cryptocurrencies is making it harder for threat actors to monetize their ransomware campaigns. Greater rewards can be gained through other types of malware, such as remote access Trojans (RATs) and banking Trojans. RATs and banking Trojans were the main malware threats in Q3, 2019,...

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Tens of Thousands of TennCare and Florida Blue Members Impacted by Phishing Attack on Business Associate
Nov13

Tens of Thousands of TennCare and Florida Blue Members Impacted by Phishing Attack on Business Associate

Further healthcare organizations have confirmed they have been affected by a data breach at Magellan Health National Imaging Associates, a business associate of several HIPAA-covered entities that provides managed pharmacy and radiology benefits services. Danville, PA-based Geisinger Health Plan announced last month that 5,848 of its members had been affected by the breach. In the past few days, health insurance company Florida Blue and the Tennessee state Medicaid program, TennCare, have made similar announcements. Albuquerque, NM-based Presbyterian Health Plan also confirmed that it had been affected and 56,226 of its members had been affected. Further information can be found on this link. The phishing attack occurred on May 28, 2019. Magellan Health NIA learned of the breach on July 5, 2019 and took action to secure the affected email account. The breach was detected when the compromised account was used to send out large quantities of spam email. The internal investigation confirmed that the mailbox had been accessed on several occasions by an individual based outside the...

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Google Confirms it has Legitimate Access to Millions of Ascension Patients’ Health Records
Nov12

Google Confirms it has Legitimate Access to Millions of Ascension Patients’ Health Records

Following a report in the Wall Street Journal, Google has confirmed it is collaborating with one of the largest healthcare systems in the United States, which gives it access to a huge volume of patient data. Google has partnered Ascension, the world’s largest catholic health system and the second largest non-profit health system in the United States. Ascension operates more than 2,600 healthcare facilities in 21 states, including 150 hospitals and over 50 senior living facilities. The collaboration has given Google access to patient health information such as names, dates of birth, medical test results, diagnoses, treatment information, service dates, and other personal and clinical information. The project – code name Project Nightingale – had been kept under the radar prior to the WSJ Report, which claimed that at least 150 Google employees have allegedly been able to access patient data as part of the project and that access to patient data had been granted without patients or physicians being informed. Both Google and Ascension made announcements about the Project...

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Sen. Warner Demands Answers from HHS Over Apparent Lack of Response to Major PACS Data Breach
Nov12

Sen. Warner Demands Answers from HHS Over Apparent Lack of Response to Major PACS Data Breach

U.S. Senator, Mark. R. Warner (D-VA) has written to the Director of the HHS’ Office for Civil Rights, Roger Severino, expressing concern over the HHS response to the mass exposure of medical images by U.S. healthcare organizations. Sen. Warner is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and co-founder of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus. This is the latest in a series of communications in which he has voiced concerns about cybersecurity failures that have compromised the personal and private information of Americans. In February, Sen. Warner demanded answers from HHS agencies, NIST, and healthcare associations about healthcare cybersecurity following the continued increase in healthcare data breaches. His recent letter to OCR was in response to a September 17, 2019 report about the exposure of millions of Americans’ medical images that were stored in unsecured picture archiving and communications systems (PACS). The report detailed the findings of an investigation by ProPublica, German public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk, and vulnerability and analysis firm,...

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