Atlanta Allergy & Asthma first mails notices to patients; data was dumped back in March

On March 3, DataBreaches.net reported that Atlanta Allergy & Asthma had apparently been compromised by Nefilim threat actors, who had dumped more than 2 GB of patient-related files on a dedicated leak site. DataBreaches.net not only reported that, but provided a redacted screencap and noted that this site had reached out to the covered entity to ask about the incident. This site received no reply, but they reported the incident to HHS on April 5 as impacting 9,851 patients.

Today, DataBreaches.net discovered an undated notification on their web site.

The privacy and security of the personal information we maintain is of the utmost importance to Atlanta Allergy & Asthma (“AAA”). AAA identified unauthorized access to its network between January 5, 2021 and January 13, 2021. Upon learning of the issue, AAA immediately took steps to secure its network and mitigate against any additional harm. AAA worked very closely with external cybersecurity professionals to determine the full impact of the incident. Based on its comprehensive investigation and document review, AAA discovered on July 8, 2021 that certain individual information was removed from its network in connection with this incident, including full names and one or more of the following: dates of birth, Social Security numbers, financial account numbers and/or routing numbers, diagnoses, treatment information and costs, procedure types, provider names, treatment location, dates of service, patient account numbers and/or health insurance information.

How can they claim they discovered that on July 8, when data was dumped by March 3, and this site both reported that and contacted Atlanta Allergy & Asthma about it?

To date, AAA is not aware of any reports of identity fraud or improper use of any information as a direct result of this incident. AAA is providing notification of this incident to impacted individuals, commencing on August 20, 2021. Impacted individuals should consider taking steps to protect their information, including enrolling in complimentary credit monitoring services if their notification indicates that their Social Security number was impacted, placing a fraud alert/security freeze on their credit files, obtaining free credit reports, and remaining vigilant in reviewing financial account statements, credit reports and explanation of benefits statements for fraudulent or irregular activity on a regular basis.

So they do not tell them that their data was dumped on the dark web and was free for everyone to just grab?  And they first send out letters this week when they notified HHS in April that more than 9,800 patients were impacted and I notifed them in March?

How can this possibly be acceptable?  Spoiler alert: in my opinion, it’s not.  If HHS wants the “no later than 60 days” taken seriously, it really needs to take enforcement action in some cases.

AAA is committed to maintaining the privacy of personal information in its possession and has taken many precautions to safeguard it. AAA continually evaluates and modifies its practices and internal controls to enhance the security and privacy of personal information.

For further questions or additional information regarding this incident, or to determine if you may be impacted by this incident, individuals can contact the dedicated toll-free response line at 800-588-2402. This response line is staffed with professionals familiar with this incident. The response line is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time.

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