SalusCare sues Amazon to compel production of information about storage bucket used by cyberattacker

NBC2 in Florida reports that SalusCare, a substance abuse and mental health services provider, has disclosed an attack impacting both patient and employee data. According to the news station, SalusCare is not yet certain as to how the attackers gained access, and there is no notice on the entity’s web site as of the time of this posting.

SalusCare logo
The NBC-2 report may be somewhat confusing  or misleading, however. They report:

Amazon was notified immediately after discovering the breach, and they have voluntarily suspended the perpetrator’s access to the stored data. Officials said they hope to learn whether, and to what extent, information was removed from the Amazon buckets before access was suspended.

IT professionals and outside consultants working with SalusCare needs access to Amazon’s “audit logs.” Amazon would not provide this information voluntarily, so SalusCare said they have filed a federal lawsuit against them.

Based on the above, you might think that this was SalusCare’s bucket(s) and they can’t get Amazon to give them audit logs on their own bucket(s). But it’s not SalusCare’s bucket(s). obtained the federal court complaint.  The complaint describes that on March 16, SalusCare discovered a cyberattack. Subsequent investigation revealed that the attacker (“John Doe”) — who appeared to connect from Ukraine — uploaded the  stolen/exfiltrated data to one or two Amazon s3 storage buckets.

When contacted by SalusCare, Amazon promptly suspended access to the alleged criminal’s bucket(s), but SalusCare wants to make sure that the suspension is not lifted and that SalusCare also gets full copies of the contents of the bucket(s) and audit logs showing any access to or exfiltration from those buckets. So SalusCare has not only sued “John Doe” in federal court, but they have sued Amazon AWS, and seek an order compelling Amazon AWS to: (1) prevent the John Doe criminal from further accessing the bucket(s), and (2) to provide SalusCare with a copy of the contents of the buckets and audit logs showing access to the bucket(s).

The injunctive relief is sought under Florida’s Computer Abuse and Recovery Act.

Amazon’s denial of SalusCare’s request for information on the contents of the bucket(s) and the audit logs seems perfectly reasonable, if unfortunate — Amazon is protecting a customer’s privacy and data. The court will likely issue the order compelling Amazon to cooperate so that they are covered for providing the information.

Updated 6:27 pm:  The News-Press reports:

SalusCare filed a lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday to compel Amazon to provide it with any “audit logs” that would show what data had been accessed from its storage site and to block the hackers’ access to the data. A judge granted those requests on Thursday.

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