RI: University Gastroenterology notifies patients of ransomware attack

University Gastroenterology is notifying patients after what sounds like a ransomware attack.

In a notice on their web site, they write that on  July 11, 2016, they discovered that an unauthorized individual had gained access to an electronic file storage system from a practice they had acquired in 2014, Consultants in Gastroenterology, and encrypted several files. They do not indicate when the attack actually occurred – only when they discovered it.

An investigation revealed that the affected files “may have contained your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and medical billing information.”  Patients’ electronic medical records were not exposed and remained secure.

In response to the incident, UG has taken a number steps:

We have already taken steps to prevent a similar event from occurring in the future, and are making additional security enhancements to protect the privacy and security of your information. This includes deploying a second-level anti-malware solution to every computer and server within the system, disabling inactive user accounts, and removing the affected servers.

The reference to disabling inactive user accounts is interesting. Is that how access was gained?

The number of patients notified was not indicated, and the incident is not yet up on HHS’s public breach tool.

Related: Notification to Vermont Attorney General’s Office

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