Ohio Eye Care Provider Suffers Ransomware Attack

Eye Care Associates, a fully integrated regional eye care provider in northeast Ohio, experienced a ransomware attack in late July which took its computer systems out of action. Two weeks after the attack occurred, its computer systems remain locked.

According to Director of Operations, Mary Jo Silva, the attack occurred in the early hours of July 28, 2019. The Beaver Township Police Department was notified about the attack and the board was informed.

A ransom demand was received, but no amount was stated on the demand. Contact with the attackers was required in order to discover how needed to be paid. Silva said no contact was made with the attackers and no payment was made. Eye Care Associates has been working with its backup and file storage service provider to recover all encrypted files. Silva expects systems to be brought back online in the next couple of days. An investigation into the attack has uncovered no evidence to suggest patient information was stolen. The Business Journal reports that the ransomware was delivered via email.

The attack has caused considerable disruption at the hospital. It has not been possible to book new appointments for two weeks as the appointment system has been down. The hospital has also had to rely on paper records when providing treatment to patients.

Multiple Email Accounts Compromised in NCH Healthcare System Phishing Attack

Naples, FL-based NCH Healthcare System has experienced a phishing attack in which patient information may have been compromised.

NCH Healthcare identified suspicious activity in its payroll system on June 14, 2019 and called in third party computer forensics experts to investigate the breach. The investigation revealed the email accounts of several employees had been compromised as a result of responses to phishing emails.

It is possible that patient information in emails and email attachments could have been accessed or copied by the attackers. Patients have been notified about the breach and have been advised to monitor their accounts and explanation of benefits statements for any signs of fraudulent activity.

It is unclear at this stage how many patients have been affected by the breach.

Author: Steve Alder has many years of experience as a journalist, and comes from a background in market research. He is a specialist on legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA. Steve holds a B.Sc. from the University of Liverpool.