Up to 69,000 Persons Affected by Cyberattacks on Healthcare Fiscal Management and Friendship Community Care

by | Jul 8, 2020 | Compliance News

Nearly 69,000 Persons Affected by Cyberattacks on Healthcare Fiscal Management and Friendship Community Care

Healthcare Fiscal Management Inc. (HFMI) located in Wilmington, NC provides physician groups, hospitals and clinics with self-pay conversion and insurance eligibility services. HFMI suffered a ransomware attack that allowed attackers to have access to the private and protected health information (PHI) of patients of St. Mary’s Health Care System based in Athens, GA.

An unauthorized person accessed the HFMI systems on April 12, 2020 and released a ransomware payload the next day that encrypted information kept on its systems. The hacker accessed systems that have the personal and PHI of patients who obtained medical services at St. Mary’s from November 2019 to April 2020.

The attackers possibly accessed and acquired the information of about 58,000 patients, though data accessor theft cannot be affirmed. The PHI kept on the breached systems included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, account numbers, health record numbers, and service dates.

HFMI was ready in case of this sort of event and had practical backups that were employed to reestablish information the same day to an alternative hosting provider. A forensic investigation team was hired to look into the incident. The forensic investigators stated that the attackers do not have possession of the information. The information is likewise not available over the web.

Security experts are going over security settings and, from their advice, steps are undertaken to improve security. HFMI has given all impacted persons no-cost credit monitoring and identity theft protection services as a precautionary measure against identity theft and fraud.

Phishing Attack on Friendship Community Care Affects 9,745 Patients

Friendship Community Care (FCC) based in Russellville, AR, a not-for-profit care provider of grownups and youngsters with handicaps, encountered a phishing attack last January 2020.

FCC identified the phishing attack on February 4, 2020 after seeing suspicious activity in the email account of an employee. Forensic investigators helped inspect the breach and confirmed on February 5, 2020 that an unauthorized person had obtained access to the email account, however upon additional investigation, it confirmed the breach of a number of Office 365 email accounts utilizing credentials acquired in the phishing attack.

FCC found out on February 7, 2020 that the email accounts comprised PHI. A detailed evaluation of the email accounts affirmed the probable access of 9,745 persons’ PHI, even though there is no proof received that indicate the attacker accessed or acquired the emails.

The compromised email accounts comprised names, birth dates, addresses, Client ID numbers, Social Security numbers, Medicaid IDs/Medicare IDs, employer ID numbers, patient numbers, medical data, state ID card numbers, student ID numbers, driver’s license numbers, financial account details, mother’s maiden names, marriage certificates, birth certificates, facial photographs and disability codes.

FCC provided free credit monitoring and identity protection services to impacted persons. An analysis of email security was performed, and steps are being undertaken to strengthen security to avert identical breaches later on.

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