Another ransomware attack results in a HIPAA breach: Florida Medical Center
In a notice issued yesterday, Florida Medical Clinic (“FMC”) confirmed that unauthorized individuals gained access to its computer network and used ransomware to encrypt files.
FMC detected suspicious activity on January 9, 2023, and the incident was fully contained within hours. FMC states they were able to “proactively isolate the exposure.” DataBreaches has sent them an inquiry asking they accomplished that.
But there are other questions raised by FMC’s notification. They write, in part:
There is no evidence that any of the accessed information has been improperly used, and Florida Medical Clinic has secured evidence that all of the stolen files were permanently deleted. We feel strongly that any information obtained was not used for malicious intent. Nevertheless, we are notifying you of this event.
DataBreaches notes that FMC doesn’t actually say that they paid ransom, but it seems like a fair guess in light of what they do write. But evidence that all of the files were permanently deleted? How can FMC possibly know if the unnamed threat actors retained another copy of the data somewhere for future sale or misuse?
And as to their strong feeling that the information wasn’t obtained for malicious intent, well, DataBreaches would humbly suggest that it certainly was obtained for malicious intent if the intent was to extort FMC into paying ransom.
DataBreaches has sent FMC inquiries about those claims, too.
FMC’s investigation revealed 94,132 files were exposed, but
the overwhelming majority of the files — over 95% — included only an individual’s name and no other personally identifiable information. The remaining files may have included information such as medical information, phone number, email address, date of birth, and address. Only 115 patient Social Security numbers were compromised.
They say they have no evidence that any patient’s bank account, credit card, or other financial information was compromised.
Their full notice can be found on their website at https://www.floridamedicalclinic.com/press-release/
Their report to HHS has yet to appear on HHS’s public breach tool so the total number of patients affected is as yet unknown.