Oregon anesthesiology group notifies 750,000 about ransomware incident; FBI seized threat actors’ account with their files

Like many other healthcare entities, Oregon Anesthesiology Group, P.C. (OAG) became the victim of a ransomware attack this year. But somewhat atypically, the FBI seems to have seized a threat actor’s account that had their patient data.

According to OAG’s statement of December 6, the medical group experienced what they described as a cyberattack that briefly locked them out of their servers. They do not mention whether any ransom demand was received, but they were able to restore their systems from off-site backups.  And of course, they investigated to find out what happened, how it happened, and how many patients might be impacted. But here’s where things get a bit more interesting:

On October 21, the FBI notified OAG that it had seized an account belonging to HelloKitty, a Ukrainian hacking group, which contained OAG patient and employee files. The FBI believes HelloKitty exploited a vulnerability in our third-party firewall, enabling the hackers to gain entry to the network. According to the cyber forensics report obtained by OAG in late November, the cybercriminals, once inside, were able to data-mine the administrator’s credentials and access OAG’s encrypted data.

[…]

How did the FBI seize the HelloKitty account? Was this ever disclosed by the FBI? And was this FiveHands, or …?

DataBreaches.net reached out to the press office for the FBI to ask them about which threat actor group the account was seized from and how. They did not respond to two inquiries over the past 24 hours, despite this site providing them with a deadline for this story.

OAG reports that they notified 750,000 patients and 522 current and former OAG employees who were potentially impacted.

The full notification can be found at: https://www.oaginformation.com/

If DOJ responds to this site’s inquiries, this post will be updated. Or maybe another journalist or security researcher will recognize the seizure of a HelloKitty account and be able to provide more background.


Correction of Dec. 15: An earlier version of this post erroneously questioned whether the reference to HelloKitty ransomware was talking about the FiveHands group or HIVE or….?  HIVE is not linked to HelloKitty; the post should have said “FiveHands or Vice Society or….?” as some research has indicated that Vice Society uses what appears to be a variant of HelloKitty ransomware. DOJ has still not responded to this site’s inquiries.

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