Apr 222019

From a press release by pediatric orthopedic surgeon Ronald Snyder, M.D.:

April 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — On April 18, 2019 Ronald Snyder, M.D., (“Dr. Snyder”), announced a recent event that may have impacted the privacy of personal information relating to certain individuals. While Dr. Snyder is unaware of any attempted or actual misuse of personal information in relation to the event, his office is providing potentially affected individuals with notice of the event, information about the event, his office’s response to it, and steps individuals may take to better protect against the possibility of identity theft and fraud, should they feel it is necessary to do so.

What Happened? On January 9, 2019, Dr. Snyder’s staff became aware that electronic information stored on his office’s computer server had been encrypted as the result of a “ransomware” cyber-attack by an unknown actor.  Because the server that was encrypted stored patient billing information, Dr. Snyder’s immediate goals were to (1) ensure his office could still access patient information that had been encrypted so that his office could continue to care for patients without disruption; and (2) investigate what happened and confirm as quickly as possible if this incident resulted in any unauthorized access to, or theft of, patient information by the unknown actor. Because the office regularly creates backup copies of patient information, Dr. Snyder was able to quickly gain access to almost all patient information that had been encrypted and easily restored information that was not accessible.  He also immediately began working with outside cybersecurity and computer forensics experts to determine whether any patient information was subject to unauthorized access.

Since Dr. Snyder learned about this issue on January 9, 2019, he has taken every necessary step to investigate this incident and the impact it may have on patient information, which included working with multiple industry-leading experts to recover the important information that was encrypted on the computer server. Unfortunately, after many efforts and attempts, Dr. Snyder learned on April 2, 2019 that he would be unable to determine whether this incident resulted in unauthorized access to patient information, due to the damage done to the computer server and the information stored on it.

Although Dr. Snyder has no indication that any patient information was specifically targeted, viewed, or stolen by an unauthorized actor in relation to this incident, he is notifying potentially affected individuals about this incident in an abundance of caution due to the uncertain nature of the incident.

What Information Was Involved? Dr. Snyder determined the server that was encrypted stored medical billing information, which may include: name, address, date of birth, gender, co-pay amount, patient status, employment status, telephone number, email address, and certain patients’ insurance identification number, which may be a Social Security number. There is no indication that any such information was specifically targeted, viewed, or stolen by an unauthorized actor in relation to this incident.  However, a complete investigation to make that determination was not possible.

What Dr. Snyder is Doing. Dr. Snyder takes this incident and the security of patient information in his practice’s care very seriously.  As part of his practice’s ongoing commitment to the privacy and security of patient information, he is working to review existing policies and procedures and to implement additional safeguards to further secure the information in his systems. He is also notifying the Department of Health and Human Services, other government regulators, as required, and prominent news media outlets in the state of New Jersey. Dr. Snyder also notified law enforcement of this incident.

In addition, while he is not aware or any actual or attempted misuse of personal information in relation to this incident, he is offering potentially affected individuals access to 1 year of complimentary identity restoration services through TransUnion.

What Potentially Affected Individuals Can Do. Potentially affected individuals can find out more about how to protect against potential identity theft and fraud in the enclosed Steps You Can Take to Prevent Fraud and Identity Theft.  Potentially affected individuals can also enroll to receive the free identity restoration services being offered.

For More Information. If you are a potentially affected individual and have questions about this incident, please call our dedicated assistance line at 855-222-3630, Monday through Friday (except holidays), during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Eastern Time.

Read the full release on Dr. Snyder’s web site, here.

Apr 182019

Keith Edwards reports:

A malicious computer virus that hit the city overnight and froze the city’s computer network forced the closure of Augusta City Center Thursday.

The virus, which officials said was intentionally inflicted upon the city’s servers, also shut down computers used by public safety dispatchers — but not the city’s phone system or the public safety radio system relied upon for dispatchers, police, fire and ambulance staff in the field to communicate.

Dispatchers, who don’t have access to their usual computer-aided dispatching system, are tracking calls and the activity and whereabouts of police officers, firefighters and ambulance crews manually.

Read more on Sun Journal.

Thanks to the reader who sent in this link!

Apr 182019

From their notice:

ANOKA, MINNESOTA – April 11, 2019 – Riverplace Counseling Center has become aware of a potential data security incident that may have resulted in the unauthorized access to personal information, including health information. Although at this time, there is no evidence of any attempted or actual misuse of anyone’s information as a result of this incident, we have taken steps to notify all potentially impacted individuals and to provide resources to assist them.

On January 20, 2019, we discovered that we had been victim of a cybersecurity incident. We engaged a computer technology firm to assist in removing the malware and restoring our systems from backup. We also engaged independent computer forensics experts to determine how the incident occurred and whether any information had been accessed by the unauthorized intruder. On February 18, 2019, the investigation concluded. Although the investigation did not identify any evidence of access to your information, we unfortunately could not completely rule out the possibility that your personal information, including your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, health insurance information, and treatment information, may have been accessible.

We take the privacy and security of all information in our control very seriously, and we want to assure you that we are taking steps to prevent a similar event from occurring in the future. These steps include implementing additional technical safeguards including additional spam filters, firewalls and antivirus software system-wide; providing additional staff training on identifying unauthorized access; and securing a specialized cybersecurity firm to further assist us in implementing system-wide policies and procedures to help prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future.

We mailed letters to individuals potentially impacted by this event, which include information about the incident and steps potentially impacted individuals can take to monitor and protect their personal information. We have established a toll-free call center to answer questions about the incident and related concerns. The call center is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Central Time, and can be reached at (833) 231-3359. In addition, out of an abundance of caution, we are offering complimentary identity monitoring services through Kroll to potentially impacted individuals at no cost to them.

The privacy and protection of personal information is a top priority, and we sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause.

Apr 172019

Here’s their press release. The release does not explain how the attacker(s) first gained access to certain servers in January. Was the  infection intended to cover up the earlier activity? It’s not clear to me. Nor does the press release indicate how many patients are being notified.  Update:  HealthData Management subsequently reported that executives at Centrelake say that the virus was not ransomware, but did deny them access to data.

April 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Centrelake Medical Group, Inc. (“Centrelake”) is taking action after it recently became aware that there was an incident in which an unknown third party may have gained access to the data in its practice. Although there is no indication of actual or attempted misuse of patient information, Centrelake is notifying patients whose records may have been subject to unauthorized access and providing these patients with information and resources that can be used to better protect against the possibility of identity theft or fraud if they feel it is appropriate to do so.

Centrelake takes this incident, and patient privacy, very seriously, and is taking steps to help prevent another incident of this kind from happening by continuing to review its processes, policies, and procedures that address data privacy.

To better assist those who may potentially have been affected by this event, Centrelake has established a toll-free privacy line staffed with individuals familiar with this incident and how to better protect against the possibility of identity theft and fraud, and you can direct all questions and concerns to this line by calling 1-866-736-0792 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. PDT, Monday through Friday, excluding major holidays.

What Happened

On February 19, 2019, Centrelake discovered its information system had been infected with a virus that prohibited its access to its files.  Centrelake immediately worked to restore its information system and launched an investigation, with the assistance of third-party forensics, to determine the nature and scope of the incident.  As part of Centrelake’s ongoing investigation, it determined this virus was introduced by an unknown third-party that had access to certain servers on its information system which contain personal and protected health information relating to current and former Centrelake patients. After a review of available forensic evidence, Centrelake determined that suspicious activity began on its network on January 9, 2019, lasting until the virus infection on February 19, 2019.

Information Affected

While the investigation is ongoing, and there is no evidence the unknown third-party viewed or took patient information stored on the systems, it has been confirmed that the impacted servers housed files and software applications containing information which may include patients’ names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, services performed and diagnosis information, driver’s license information, health insurance information, referring provider information, medical record number, and dates of service.


Centrelake is providing notification to impacted patients and business partners and providing notification to required regulators about this incident.

Fraud Prevention Tips

Centrelake encourages affected individuals to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud and to seek to protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss by regularly reviewing their financial account statements, credit reports, and explanations of benefits for suspicious activity. Anyone with questions regarding how to best protect themselves from potential harm resulting from this incident, including how to receive a free copy of one’s credit report, and place a fraud alert or security freeze on one’s credit file, is encouraged to call 1-866-736-0792 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. PDT, Monday through Friday, excluding major holidays.

SOURCE Centrelake Medical Group, Inc.

Apr 152019

Sergiu Gatlan reports:

Malicious DICOM files can be crafted to contain both CT and MRI scan imaging data and potentially dangerous PE executables, a process which can be used by threat actors to hide malware inside seemingly harmless files.

Cylera’s Markel Picado Ortiz achieved this by taking advantage of a DICOM format design flaw which allows for the “128-byte section at the beginning of the file, called the Preamble,” to be modified to add compatibility with non-DICOM image viewers.

Read more on BleepingComputer.