Ransomware-based breach of Alaskan medical billing seller impacts Fairbanks municipality

July 26, 2018


A data breach and matching ransomware attack at an Alaskan medical billing firm that undermined the health information of approximately 44,600 people counted a Fairbanks-based government municipality among its sufferers.

As per a report in the HIPAA Journal, Fairbanks-based Golden Heart Administrative Professionals lately warned the public that a malevolent party penetrated a server having its clients’ patient information and then copied ransomware that encrypted specific files. “All client patient information should be assumed to be undermined,” the firm reportedly said in a report. The Daily News-Miner of Alaska further informed that the occurrence affected a lot more than 500 customers,

One of these customers turns out to be the Fairbanks North Star Borough, a regional municipality whose medical billing was handled by GHAP through 2017. Approximately 6,500 patients who needed an ambulance from 2012 through 2017 were impacted in that incident, the borough has mentioned in its own online proclamation.

The attack took place on April 14 and it was found the same day, the borough has informed, noting that affected data includes names, medical treatment, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, diagnosis codes as well as credit card information.

“The borough will carry on to check Golden Heart Administrative Professionals’ inquiry and will work with the borough’s existing ambulance billing supplier to make sure that it has sufficient administrative, technical and physical protections to protect private information against similar future dangers,” the declaration reads.

Additionally, the borough said that GHAP has replied by informing law enforcement and credit organizations, substituting hardware and updating software, and reconsidering its security measures. GHAP also plans to upgrade its training, the borough added.

GHAP says it has no information of any client information being abused, the Daily News-Miner earlier reported.