HCA confirms massive breach: 11 million patients' data leaked - The Rugby Observer

HCA confirms massive breach: 11 million patients' data leaked

Rugby Editorial 21st Jul, 2023   0

HCA Healthcare, a network of over 2300 ambulatory sites and 180 hospitals across the United Kingdom and the United States, recently disclosed the lost information of around 11 million patients in a successful data breach. The incident is likely the largest data breach in the healthcare system’s history worldwide.

The list of impacted establishments includes one thousand four hundred physical offices and hospitals across 20 states. The seemingly invaluable information, but golden to the thieves, is said to have been exposed on a dark web forum after the massive attack.

The giant healthcare network claimed it would contact the victims in the following weeks. The next is what is known about the incident, with further details expected to be released as more investigations are conducted and more information is found.

The chain hit by the data breach lost 27M rows of data




HCA Healthcare failed 27 million rows of data from an “external storage location” utilized to automate emails. According to the giant for-profit hospital, the stolen data included the following:

  • Patient name, address, and zip code
  • Patient phone number, email, gender, and birth date
  • Patient location, service date, next appointment date, and the last place they saw their provider.

While no dubious activity on the company’s systems or networks was spotted, the data seems to have been uploaded to an online forum. According to the chain, the probability of specific details regarding the following aspects is little:


  • Clinical information like conditions, diagnosis, and treatment
  • Payment information like account or credit card numbers
  • Sensitive data like social security numbers, driver’s licenses, or passwords

Furthermore, the company said it would contact and notify the victims whose data was implicated in the attack through letters during the next few weeks. This is good news, as there will be more clearance around the daunting event.

Individuals worry about similar occurrences

95% of U.S. patients fear data leakages, and their worst nightmare seems to have become a reality. According to a recently released survey from Health Gorilla, a company specializing in gathering clinical data, 95% of U.S. patients expressed concern over having their medical records or data lost in potential breaches. 42% of the 12,000 polled participants showed moderate concern, 28% were apprehensive, and the rest, at 25%, were only a little preoccupied. As observed, the world is highly aware of the potential consequences of a data breach and pays attention to the provider’s reliability before giving in personal details. Since the frequency of data breaches is growing with hackers’ rewards at stake and increasingly sophisticated techniques and tools, one of the most powerful protection strategies is knowing what to do in the event of such a misfortunate occurrence. According to www.databreachclaims.org.uk, victims may be eligible to claim compensation from the provider that failed to protect their data and receive a recompense that will reduce their financial losses. It’s common for an individual involved in a data breach to feel overwhelmed and confused, which is where compensation solicitors step in to help the victim recover.

Victims may receive unexpected phone calls

A representative at Better Business Bureau, Michele Mason, warns individuals involved in the HCA data breach they might receive unexpected phone calls as a result of the incident. Despite the information’s seemingly unworthiness, it is of great value to stealers. A person’s name, birthday, and even email may seem like useless pieces of data, but they can prove crucial in completing a bigger puzzle that could be used by those trying to steal the victim’s identity. Often, hackers try to contact the victim, hoping they’ll receive even more information, so those involved in the attack must pay attention not to disclose anything to suspicious persons. Furthermore, victims may be aware of the implications of the HCA data breach in this situation, but this optimistic scenario is not always the case. Individuals may sometimes be involved in data breaches that take months to notice, with the effects unseeable for long periods.

The giant network took immediate action

In a recently made announcement, the company stated it took immediate steps to contain the problem, such as restricting user access to the storage location. Additionally, it plans to contact any impacted individual to offer support and additional information, meeting their regulatory and legal obligations. Where it’s the case, the company will provide assistance through identity protection services and credit monitoring.

The incident may rank in the top five healthcare-related hacks

According to the Associated Press, the accident may enter the top five hacks in the history of healthcare reported to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services if it’s confirmed that 11 million patients are impacted. Another massive health care-related hack was the breach of Anthem in 2015, which affected almost 79 million individuals. However, the present one doesn’t come close to that. In that case, Chinese spies were charged, and proof that data was stolen was lacking. Individuals whose information has been taken may face identity theft issues for a long time.

HCA warns patients not to hurry to pay any bill

Victims may receive billing requests or invoices in addition to phone calls or other forms of contact. They’re advised to ignore any contact attempt and not pay anything without calling the company to check the request’s legitimacy.

Additionally, the healthcare provider reported the data breach to law enforcement and hired threat intelligence advisors and third-party investigators to bring the situation under control.

Conclusion

HCAs Healthcare’s data breach may be among the most significant healthcare-related leakages ever. However, despite the number of impacted patients, the outcome may not be as impactful as previous leakages. According to the company’s statements, a valuable piece of information, namely medical or financial information, succeeded in staying undisclosed. Until more details are disclosed, victims are advised not to hurry to pay related invoices and billings until the chain proves their genuineness and refrain from divulging information to suspicious incoming calls.

This is a submitted article

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