NJ: Ronald Snyder, M.D., Notifies patients after ransomware incident
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.