MHMR Authority of Brazos Valley provides notice of ransomware attack last November (1)

On December 22, 2022 DataBreaches added MHMR Authority of Brazos Valley to our non-public breach worksheet. Based on information at that time from Hive threat actors, it appeared that the non-profit Texas mental health and substance abuse treatment provider’s files had been locked on November 5. Their listing on Hive’s leak site was a sure sign that the provider had not paid Hive’s ransom demands.

But it wasn’t until July 28 of 2023 that MHMR Authority of Brazos Valley issued any press release. Based on their statement, on May 30, they learned that personal and protected health information of some employees and current and former patients may have been involved.  They do not explain why it took them so many months to determine that. If Hive had been true to form, they would have emailed MHMR Authority of Brazos Valley at least several times and told them in the emails what kinds of data they had acquired. In a number of ransom emails DataBreaches had seen that were sent to other Hive victims, Hive would also indicate how many files or GB of data they had acquired. Was such info sent to this victim, and if so, did it help them determine what had been accessed or not?

And did MHMR Authority of Brazos Valley contact the FBI immediately upon discovering that they had been attacked in November? The FBI had been quietly sitting on HIVE since June of 2022 and was able to give victims a decryptor. Did MHMR Authority of Brazos Valley get that help from the FBI? Their press release makes no mention of ever reporting the incident to the FBI or working with law enforcement, so we do not know that, either.

MHMR Authority of Brazos Valley is exactly the kind of understaffed and underfunded non-profit that does not have the resources needed to really prevent nor investigate and respond to cyberattacks. When they say they exhausted their resources trying to figure out whom to notify and how to contact them, they probably weren’t exaggerating.

The types of information involved include: name, Social Security number, driver’s license number, financial account information, username and access information, medical record number, Medicaid or Medicare number, medical treatment and/or diagnosis information, and/or health insurance information.

The press release does not indicate how many employees and patients are being notified, and the incident is not yet up on HHS’s public breach tool. But Hive threat actors never leaked any more data from them after the December listing. When Hive’s infrastructure was seized, was the MHMR Authority of Brazos Valley data recovered? Have the employees and patients been spared from further leakage or misuse of their information? That would be a bit of good news if that had happened, but the press release makes no mention of anything like that.  Perhaps more details will become available in the future.

Update 1:  On July 28, MHMR Authority of Brazos Valley reported the incident to the Maine Attorney General’s Office as impacting 83,245 people, but it’s not yet clear whether they are all patients or if some are employees.

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