Report: “No Need to Hack When It’s Leaking:” GitHub Leaks of Protected Health Information

The message request showed up in my Twitter notifications:

Hi There! 🙂 I see you have some experience in getting the right amount of attention for medicaid related data leaks.

I have found admin credentials to some super sensitive medical billing processing system and get nothing but silence on all available contact channels and no action for months.

The sender, who calls himself @SchizoDuckie on Twitter, turned out to be Jelle Ursem, an ethical researcher from the Netherlands who had previously found other leaks on GitHub that he responsibly disclosed.

So now, two months later, we are pleased to share you with some of his findings concerning leaks of protected health information on GitHub, and our adventures — and misadventures — in trying to get entities to respond to our attempts at responsible disclosure.

In this report, you will read about nine U.S. entities’ leaks of PHI: Xybion, MedPro Billing, Texas Physician House Calls, VirMedica, MaineCare, Waystar, Shields Health Care Group, AccQData, and one entity that we are not naming at the present time but are describing.

For the 9 leaks, there were approximately 150,000 – 200,000 unique patients’ records exposed, and possibly many, many more, because Ursem did not sample or access everything that was exposed.

You will also read about a developer we think of as the “Typhoid Mary of Data Leaks.”

We also point out certain common factors that contributed to the leaks and make recommendations for preventing them.

Great thanks to Gertrude Lok of 6500ºKelvin.nl for graciously donating her design skills to this project.

Read or Download:  “No Need to Hack When It’s Leaking” by Jelle Ursem in Collaboration with DataBreaches.net (pdf, 35 pp)

 

 

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