CommonSpirit Health Provides Cyberattack Update and Notification of Data Breach Involving Virginia Mason Franciscan Health in Washington state
There was an update on December 1 to the CommonSpirit ransomware attack that DataBreaches has reported on multiple times already.
On October 2, 2022, CommonSpirit detected activity on its IT network that was later determined to be ransomware. CommonSpirit immediately took steps to secure the network, which included proactively taking certain systems offline, and began an investigation with the assistance of leading external cybersecurity specialists. The investigation determined that an unauthorized third party gained access to certain portions of CommonSpirit’s network September 16, 2022 and October 3, 2022. During that time, the unauthorized third party may have gained access to certain files, including files that contained personal information. While a review of these files is ongoing, CommonSpirit identified that some of this data included personal information for individuals who may have received services in the past, or family members or care givers of those individuals, from Franciscan Medical Group and/or Franciscan Health in Washington state. Franciscan Health includes St. Michael Medical Center (formerly Harrison Hospital), St. Anne Hospital (formerly Highline Hospital), St. Anthony Hospital, St. Clare Hospital, St. Elizabeth Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, and St. Joseph Hospital. Those facilities are now known collectively as Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, which is an affiliated entity of CommonSpirit.
What information was involved?
While the review of the files is ongoing, we identified that the information in some of the files related to patients, family members of patients, or caregivers of patients and included: Name, address, phone number(s), date of birth, and a unique ID used only internally by the organization (not the Medical Record Number or insurance ID). CommonSpirit has no evidence that any personal information has been misused as a result of the incident.
What we are doing.
Upon discovering the ransomware attack, CommonSpirit quickly mobilized to protect its systems, contain the incident, begin an investigation, and maintain continuity of care. In addition, CommonSpirit notified law enforcement and is supporting their ongoing investigation. Once secured, systems were returned to the network with additional security and monitoring tools.
Actions you may wish to take.
Though CommonSpirit has no evidence that any personal information has been misused as a result of the incident, it is always prudent for patients to review health care statements for accuracy and report any services or charges that were not incurred to the provider or insurance carrier.
For more information.
We apologize for any concern this may cause. Protecting personal information is important to us.
DataBreaches has written to CommonSpirit to urge them to be more transparent about this incident. Specifically, they have neither identified the threat actors nor disclosed whether they paid ransom.
Saying the attackers “may have” gained access to “certain files” is misleading, at best, if CommonSpirit negotiated with the attackers, got a list of all files extricated, and paid to have those files deleted from the attacker’s servers.
CommonSpirits did not reply to DataBreaches’ inquiries.