44,600 Patients Shaken by Ransomware Attack at Golden Heart Administrative Experts

July 28, 2018


AK-based billing firm, Golden Heart Managerial Experts, a Fairbanks is warning 44,600 people that some of their PHI have possibly been obtained by illegal people because of a recent ransomware attack.

The ransomware was placed on a server protecting the PHI of patients. A press release issued by the company, which is a business associate of many healthcare providers in Alaska, said that “all client patient information must assume to be undermined.”

Local and federal law enforcement organizations have been informed of hacking event and efforts are continuing to save files.

The Golden Heart Administrative Experts ransomware attack is the largest data breach suffered by a healthcare group in July, and the second main data breach to be informed by an Alaska-based healthcare group in the same month.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services declared, earlier in July, that it had been struck by a data breach because of a malware infection. The Zeus/Zbot Trojan – an information stealer – had been put on their servers which possibly let the hackers access the PHI of ‘over 500’ customers.

Recent reports show ransomware attacks are becoming less usual, with numerous cybercriminal gangs switching jobs to cryptocurrency mining; nevertheless, there doesn’t seem to be any decline in the number of ransomware attacks on healthcare groups.

Lately, LabCorp, the national network of clinical checking laboratories, experienced a SamSam ransomware attack. The attack was noticed within 50 minutes and systems were deactivated to stop extensive file encryption. The ransomware was inserted into the servers after a brute force remote desktop protocol (RDP) attack. It is not presently clear how many individuals have been affected by the occurrence, even though some reports show that millions of patients’ PHI might have been impacted.

On Monday, July 9, Cass Regional Medical Center in Harrisonville, MO, experienced a ransomware attack that led to its communications system and electronic medical record system being useless. The medical center redirected ambulances for trauma and stroke victims to substitute healthcare services in order to tackle the situation. As with the LabCorp hacking occurrence, the ransomware was put on the server after a brute force RDP campaign. The electronic medical proof systems were kept disconnected for 10 days because of the attack.