Less than two weeks after an Indiana hospital reported a phishing-related HIPAA breach, they had a second one

I was working today on adding details to spreadsheets that I use in calculating the gap between breach and discovery, and between discovery and notification. One of the incidents I was looking into today involved a report from Lafayette Regional Rehabilitation Hospital in Indiana. On November 25, they learned that in July, 2019 someone had been accessing emails with patient information after an employee’s email account was compromised. On January 24 of this year, they made notifications to 1,360 patients.

But in getting the details of that incident from their website, I saw that they linked to a second notification. I opened it, thinking it might be an update to their first notification. It wasn’t.

It turns out that less than two weeks after notifying patients of the first incident, the hospital had a second, and seemingly identical, breach.

This second notification stated:

On February 10, 2020, we determined that there may have been unauthorized access to one of our employee’s email accounts that contained patient information between February 3, 2020 and February 8, 2020.

Once again, they were notifying some of their patients that their name, date of birth, and information about the care they received at our facility, had potentially been accessed. In some cases, Social Security numbers were also potentially accessed.

Notifications to an unspecified number of patients began on April 10.

This incident has not yet appeared on HHS’s public breach tool so this site does not yet know how many patients were notified about this one.

On January 24, the hospital noted that in response to the July incident, they were reinforcing training with employees and also working to enhance their security tools.  But it sounds like on February 3, an employee fell for another phishing attack.  Maybe they had not yet received the retraining.

On a positive note, it seems that the hospital detected the second breach much faster than the first one.


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