Updating Scripps Health ransomware incident: litigation settlement

Dorian Hargrove of CBS reports that Scripps Health has agreed to pay more than $3.5 million dollars to victims of a ransomware attack in 2021 that compromised the personal information of more than one million patients.

More than 1 million patients? At the time, Scripps had reported that it was notifying 147,267 patients, and that is the number it reported to HHS in June, 2021. So when did the number change so significantly and did Scripps Health ever update their report to HHS? HHS still has an open file on the incident and they still show 147,267 as the number of patients affected.

As background to the litigation: on May 3, 2021, Scripps Health announced that it had been the victim of a cyberattack that was later identified as a ransomware attack. Scripps later announced that it was notifying 147,267 patients. But in March 2022, patients received letters that more data had been involved than originally believed:

During the investigation, we identified all documents involved and immediately started working to determine which documents contained personal information. When our review recently concluded, we determined that some of the documents contained one or more of the following: your name, address, date of birth, health insurance information, medical record number, patient account number, and/or clinical information such as diagnosis or treatment information. We have no indication that any of your information has been used to commit fraud.

The settlement has yet to obtain court approval, but the relevant documents can be found at ScrippsSettlement.com

DataBreaches sent an inquiry to Scripps yesterday asking them to confirm the number of patients affected by the incident. The email also asked what ransomware group had been responsible and whether Scripps had paid ransom. DataBreaches had never seen any Scripps data on the dark web or any group claiming responsibility for the attack, which might indicate that ransom had been paid.

No reply has been received as yet.

Update: Scripps Health responded with a totally non-responsive statement that I will not repeat here.  Maybe HHS will know why they were told one thing while the settlement says something significantly different.

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