Advisory Announced on Continuing BlackMatter Ransomware Attacks

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the National Security Agency (NSA) gave a joint advisory regarding persistent BlackMatter ransomware attacks.

The group continues to run attacks in the U.S.A. since July 2021. It has conducted attacks on critical infrastructure entities including two agencies in the U.S. Food and Agriculture Sector. Data has been received that connects the group to the DarkSide ransomware gang that executed attacks from September 2020 to May 2021. The Colonial Pipeline attack with the BlackMatter ransomware is likely a rebrand of the DarkSide operations.

Inquiry into the attacks has provided agencies with vital data concerning the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of the group, and an examination has been conducted on a ransomware sample in a sandbox environment.

The ransomware gang is identified to employ already compromised credentials to acquire access to the systems of victims, then utilizes the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol and the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) to acquire access to the Active Directory (AD) and locate all hosts on the system. The BlackMatter group deploys ransomware and then encrypts the hosts and shared drives remotely when they are located. The gang has been found to exfiltrate files and normally requires ransom payments of around $80,000 – $15 million in Bitcoin or Monero.

In the shared advisory, the NSA, CISA and FBI mentioned TTPs, provide Snort signatures which could be employed for uncovering the network activity linked with BlackMatter ransomware attacks, and various mitigations to cut down the possibility of a breach by the group.

Mitigations comprise of:

  • Employing detection signatures to distinguish and prohibit attacks in progress
  • Utilizing strong passwords tolerant to brute force attacks
  • Using multi-factor authentication to prohibit the usage of compromised credentials
  • Patching and making updates to systems quickly
  • Confining access to sources in networks
  • Employing network segmentation and traversal tracking
  • Employing admin disabling tools to support identity and privileged access administration
  • Employing and enforcing backup and recovery plans and processes

Ransom Disclosure Act Necessitates Reporting of Payments to Ransomware Groups In 48 Hours

New legislation was launched that necessitates ransomware attack victims to make known any payments given to the threat actors to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) within 48 hours after making the ransom payment.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Deborah Ross (D-N.C.) brought in the Ransom Disclosure Act. The bill seeks to offer the DHS the facts it requires to check ransomware attacks and increase comprehension of how cybercriminal groups run their business, hence letting the DHS get a good overview of the ransomware threat confronting the United States.

Between 2019 and 2020, ransomware attacks grew by 62% across the world, and by 158% in the U.S.A. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) got 2,500 complaints concerning ransomware attacks in 2020, 20% higher in comparison to the past year and $29 million more reported losses due to ransomware attacks in 2020. Not every ransomware attack is documented. Numerous victims opt to privately pay the threat actors to obtain the keys to decrypt their information and stop the public disclosure of any stolen information during the attack.

Chainalysis is convinced ransomware groups around the world received more or less $350 million in cryptocurrency in 2020, which grew by 311%. Attacks kept on increasing in 2021. Based on Check Point’s mid-year security report, the first 6 months of 2021 had 93% higher ransomware attacks compared to the matching period of time the previous year.

Like the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline has proven, the groups responsible for these attacks create a major national security risk. That attack contributed to the shutdown of a serious fuel pipeline for approximately one week. The attack on JPS Foods affected food manufacturing, and a large number of attacks on the healthcare market have impacted the capacity of healthcare companies to give proper care to patients. This year, CISA mentioned ransomware attacks hamper care and have an effect on patient results, and there was a loss of life in the U.S.A. which is supposed to have been caused by a ransomware attack.

Ransomware attacks keep on increasing given that they are lucrative and grant ransomware gangs and their affiliates an excellent revenue. There is additionally little chance of being found and brought to the law. Sadly, investigations of ransomware groups could be affected by a deficiency of data, consequently the launch of the Ransom Disclosure Act.

Though the FBI urges the ransomware attacks reporting to aid investigations, it isn’t compulsory. Sad to say, considering that victims aren’t expected to report attacks or ransom payments to government authorities, the crucial information needed to fully grasp these cybercriminal businesses are lacking to stop these attacks, explained Congresswoman Ross. This law will put in place critical reporting requirements, such as the amount of ransom asked by the attackers and paid, and which currency is used. The U.S. is unable to continue to combat ransomware attacks without being aware of this information.

The Ransom Disclosure Act will call for:

  • Ransomware victims (except persons) to reveal any ransom payments in 48 hours after giving the payment, together with the amount, currency employed, and any details that were obtained on the entity requiring the ransom.
  • The DHS will be expected to publish data exposed during the past year regarding the ransoms paid, not including identifying details related to the entities who made payments.
  • The DHS will need to build a website for people to voluntarily submit a report of the ransom payments.
  • The Secretary of Homeland Security will have to do an analysis on commonalities between ransomware attacks and the scope to which cryptocurrency was involved in the attacks, and give suggestions for securing data systems and fortifying cybersecurity.

Cyberattacks Encountered by Schneck Medical Center and Epilepsy Foundation of Texas

Schneck Medical Center located in Seymour, IN has reported that it suffered a cyberattack that had affected its company operations.

The medical center discovered the attack on September 29, 2021 and made an announcement on the same day. As a response to the incident, all IT systems inside its facilities were stopped as a safety precaution. Third-party cybersecurity specialists were called in to help investigate the incident and reestablish its IT system as soon as possible. According to Schneck Medical Center, it took time to investigate the cyberattacks and to fully resolve the recovery of IT systems, however, steps were taken to lessen interruption to its IT systems.

Schneck Medical Center stated the majority of medical services were not impacted by the cyberattack and patients can come for booked medical services and appointments as usual. Patients will get individual notification when for any reason their scheduled visit is delayed because of the cyberattack.

Schneck Medical Center stated in its breach notification that it is committed in taking care of people. It will continue to deliver excellent care to communities and will give more updates as necessary.

At this point, it is uncertain whether patient data was exposed. More information will be published concerning the attack when the investigation affirms that attackers indeed obtained access to systems that contain patient data.

PHI Possibly Exposed in Epilepsy Foundation of Texas Due to Phishing Attack

An unauthorized person potentially accessed the email account of an Epilepsy Foundation of Texas employee and possibly acquired sensitive patient information. Epilepsy Foundation of Texas found out about the email account compromise on or around June 8, 2021 because the email account had been used for sending fraudulent email messages. After immediately securing the email account, the foundation conducted an investigation to find out the nature and extent of the breach.

The investigation affirmed the breach of the account after the employee replied to a phishing email. A review of the breach and the data within the email account was finished on September 2, 2021. Then efforts were made to acquire the correct address details of the affected persons in order to send notifications. The foundation began sending notification letters to affected persons on October 1, 2021.

Epilepsy Foundation of Texas mentioned the breached email account included first and last names, birth dates, driver’s license numbers, medical details, medical insurance data, Social Security numbers, financial account numbers, biometric information, usernames and passwords, and payment card numbers.

After the attack, security practices were evaluated and were now improved. Epilepsy Foundation of Texas stated it doesn’t know of any incidents of attempted or actual patient data misuse, but it has instructed impacted patients to exercise care and keep track of their accounts and explanation of benefits statements for indications of bogus activity.

Data Breaches Reported by Vista Radiology and Mankato Clinic

PHI of Up to 3,634 Persons Compromised at Vista Radiology Ransomware Attack

Vista Radiology based in Knoxville, TN has advised 3,634 patients concerning a ransomware attack suffered on July 11, 2021 which caused the shutdown of its network. A prominent computer forensics agency carried out an extensive investigation of the attack. At the onset of the investigation, it seemed to indicate the main goal of the ransomware attack was to encrypt its files, and that there wasn’t any exfiltration of information involved. Nonetheless, Vista Radiology was advised on July 15 that certain information was discovered that files or folders including patient information were accessed and looked at.

The investigation established that the attacker encrypted the data files and a part of the files was accessed before encryption. The files that were viewed just comprised a number of patient data and no considerable amount of information was exfiltrated by the hackers. It cannot be determined whether the protected health information (PHI) of any specified patients were viewed, therefore notification letters were delivered to all patients possibly affected by the ransomware attack. The investigation revealed that PHI had not been obtained or abused.

Vista Radiology stated the encrypted records had backup copies and may be recovered and that it didn’t make a deal with the malicious third party. Measures have since been undertaken to strengthen the security of its system environment, which required a comprehensive rebuild and overhaul of network security. All impacted individuals were sent notifications and provided one year of free identity and credit monitoring services at no cost.

Mankato Clinic Privacy Breach Impacts 535 Individuals

Mankato Clinic based in Mankato, MN has identified a compromise of the PHI of 535 patients. On August 3, 2021, an employee emailed a spreadsheet that contains patient information by an employee to an external email account by mistake. The error was discovered within a couple of minutes. The email recipient was contacted and informed to get rid of the email and spreadsheet properly.

The recipient affirmed that the email message was gone and the spreadsheet was not opened; nonetheless, the email wasn’t encrypted therefore there is a slight possibility that it can be intercepted during transmission. The spreadsheet included these types of patient data: Name, address, email address, telephone number, birth date, sex, healthcare company’s name, diagnosis data, medical record number, and primary insurance provider.

The investigation affirmed the error happened because of the usage of the email auto-complete function. All workers were given HIPAA training, hence the staff involved knew the occurrence was a HIPAA breach and self-reported the problem.

Ransomware Groups Attack Barlow Respiratory Hospital And Missouri Delta Medical Center

Barlow Respiratory Hospital based in Los Angeles, CA has reported that it has encountered a ransomware attack last August 27, 2021. The Vice Society ransomware gang executed the attack and obtained access to its system as well as the electronic medical record system. Before deploying ransomware to encrypt records, the gang exfiltrated patient records, a number of which were shared on the ransomware gang’s dark web data leak page.

Barlow Respiratory Hospital explained while the attack affected a few IT systems, the medical center was able to proceed with operations following its emergency processes and patient care wasn’t cut off.

Upon recognition of the data breach, the authorities were alerted and a third-party cybersecurity agency was involved to help with the investigation and identify the magnitude of the data breach. The attack investigation is still ongoing.

Although a number of ransomware groups have stated they won’t target healthcare companies, Vice Society is not part of that group. The ransomware operation sprang up in June 2021 and already attacked several healthcare organizations, like Eskenazi Health based in Indianapolis. The ransomware gang has been taking advantage of new security issues, for example, the Windows PrintNightmare vulnerabilities.

A representative of Barlow Respiratory Hospital said they will go on to work with the authorities to support the investigation. Also, they are working hard, with the help of a cybersecurity agency, to examine what files may have been compromised in the incident. If needed, they will advise the people whose data may have been impacted, as per applicable guidelines and regulations, sooner or later.

Missouri Delta Medical Center Experiences Hive Ransomware Attack

The protected health information (PHI) of patients of Missouri Delta Medical Center located in Sikeston, MO was compromised in a ransomware attack executed by the Hive ransomware gang. At the beginning of this month, a part of the stolen information was loaded to the ransomware gang’s data leak website in order to force the medical center into shelling out the ransom payment. The Hive ransomware group has attacked a number of healthcare companies in the past couple of weeks, which include Memorial Health System.

Missouri Delta Medical Center involved the expert services of a prominent forensic security firm to look into the attack and find out the nature and extent of the breach. The provider was later on advised by a third party that a number of patient records were stolen and shared on the web. In accordance with the write-up on the Hive gang’s data leak webpage, the names, telephone numbers, addresses, birth dates, race/sex, Social Security numbers, next of kin information, diagnoses, and financial details of 95,000 persons was stolen during the attack. That data was enclosed in 400 GB of files that were copied before file encryption.

Missouri Delta Medical Center mentioned the attack did not affect its capacity to deliver health care for patients. The attack investigation is in progress nevertheless at this phase it seems that the attack didn’t impact its electronic medical record system.

Missouri Delta Medical Center apologizes for any trouble this event may have created and is doing something to improve security and minimize the risk of an identical incident taking place down the road. The center continues to be focused on keeping on assisting the community.

Higher Risk of BlackMatter Ransomware Attack on the Health and Public Health Sector

The Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) of the Department of Health and Human Services reported that there is an increased risk of ransomware attacks on the health and public health industry as perpetrated by affiliates of the BlackMatter ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) operation.

The BlackMatter threat gang surfaced in July 2021 after the DarkSide ransomware group stopped its attacks while the Sodinokibli/REvil had taken offline its facilities. The Russian threat group is thought to come from Eastern Europe and has executed a lot of attacks in the last few months in Chile, Brazil, India, the United States, and Thailand. The group additionally began leaking stolen information on its data leak website on August 11, 2021.

The threat gang has mainly executed ransomware attacks on organizations in the food and beverage, real estate, architecture, IT, education, and financial services industries, and although the ransomware gang has publicly expressed it wouldn’t attack hospitals, critical infrastructure organizations, government, nonprofits, and defense providers, there is fear that attacks may continue to take place.

The threat group stated in its sales presentation for affiliates that its ransomware includes the best capabilities of the DarkSide, Sodinokibi/REvil and Lockbit 2.0 ransomware variants. A technical review of the ransomware showed a number of commonalities between Sodinokibi/REvil and DarkSide ransomware variants indicating that the group has connections with those campaigns.

BlackMatter stated its affiliates aren’t allowed to strike hospitals, and in case any hospital or nonprofit organization is attacked, they could communicate and ask for free decryption. The threat gang additionally mentioned they will not let their project be employed to encrypt critical infrastructure that will bring unnecessary attention to them. There is obviously no assurance that an attack won’t happen nor that a free decryptor will be made available. As HC3 said, this information is the remarks of BlackMatter, and might not be correct. Moreover, the Sodinokibi/REvil and DarkSide ransomware variants were both utilized in attacks on the health and public health industry.

The threat group is actively looking for initial access brokers (IABs) that could give access to company networks, and also affiliates to perform attacks. IABs frequently offer compromised VPN login credentials, RDP credentials, and web shells, which allow ransomware gangs to have access to perform attacks.

As per HC3, there were about 65 cases of threat actors vending network access to healthcare organizations on hacking sites last year. An evaluation of 1,000 forum posts that sell network access last year revealed that the United States was the worst affected, and 4% of breached organizations belong to the healthcare sector.

BlackMatter is employed in attacks on Linux and Windows systems, encrypts files utilizing Salsa20 and 1024-bit RSA, and tries to install and encrypt unmounted partitions. The BlackMatter ransomware encrypts files on removable media, stored locally, and on network shares, and removes shadow copies to prevent restoration if ransom is not paid. Files are additionally exfiltrated before encryption and stolen information was posted on the gang’s leak website to encourage ransom payment.

Even though free decryptors are given, the cost of resolving an attack is most likely to be substantial. It is consequently essential for the health and public health industry to do something to strengthen defenses to block BlackMatter and other ransomware attacks.

In the threat report, HC3 gives the following cybersecurity recommendations that ought to be followed to minimize the BlackMatter threat:

  • Maintain offline encrypted backups
  • Routinely test backups to make sure file restoration is possible
  • Create, maintain, and exercise a fundamental cyber incident response plan and communications strategy
  • Offset Internet-facing vulnerabilities and wrong configurations
  • Patch quickly
  • Do routine security awareness training for the employees
  • Enforce defenses like spam filters to fight social engineering attacks and email phishing

Cyber Actors Target Outpatient Facilities More Regularly Than Hospitals

A new evaluation of breach reports filed with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights has pointed out that outpatient facilities and specialty clinics were targeted by cyber threat actors with greater frequency than hospital systems in the first half of 2021.

Critical Insight Researchers revealed in their 2021 Healthcare Data Breach Report that cyber threat actors have modified their targets within the healthcare eco-system and are right now paying attention to outpatient facilities and business associates more regularly than hospitals and health insurance providers.

Though sizeable health systems are obviously interesting targets for cybercriminals, smaller healthcare institutions normally have weaker security protection and may be attacked with less effort and are quick targets for hackers. The probable earnings from the attacks could be smaller, nonetheless so too are the efforts to acquire access to their sites and sensitive records.

Hackers are expressing interest on electronic protected health information (ePHI) considering that it is worth much greater than a credit card number or social security number. Scammers can generate income from it in a multitude of ways, from offering it on the dark web to processing bogus insurance claims. It won’t help that numerous health companies employ devices that run on operating systems that are out-of-date, and lots of devices were not made with cybersecurity involved.

The researchers established that healthcare data breaches are these days taking place at nearly twofold the level of 2018, with data breaches ascribed to hacking and IT incidents transpiring at pretty much thrice the level of the first half of 2018. In the first 6 months of 2021, 70% of all healthcare data breaches with 500 or more records that were filed with the HHS’ Office for Civil Rights were hacking/IT cases.

There is actually a moderate decrease in the number of data breach reports from the last 6 months of 2020, nevertheless, that doesn’t show cyberattacks are decreasing, as in the last half of 2020 the breach reports sent to the HHS’ Office for Civil Rights involved a lot of breach notices submitted by institutions affected by the data breach that happened at business associate Blackbaud. The number of reported breaches in the initial half of 2021 is more than the first 6 months of last year, and it seems like the direction of escalating numbers of data breaches being reported each and every year will continue.

There has been a serious growth in the number of cyberattacks on business associates of HIPAA-covered entities, which currently equals 43% of all healthcare data breach reports. In the first half of 2021, there were 141 data breaches documented by business associates of HIPAA-covered entities. In comparison, there were merely 66 data breaches reported by business associates in the last 6 months of 2019. As these and other third-party breaches are being reported, it proves that attackers are paying more interest to this ecosystem of companies as an insecure link in the cybersecurity cycle.

Cybercriminals are less likely to cease attacking healthcare companies because the attacks are lucrative. It depends on healthcare institutions and their business associates to boost their defenses against cyber actors. The Critical Insight researchers have created various advice, which includes examining third party risk more precisely, consistently going over business associate agreements and making certain they clearly specify roles and obligations, carrying out more detailed protections against ransomware and phishing attacks, building up access controls, and doing basic security hygiene.

California DOJ Has to be Advised Concerning Breaches of the Health Data of 500 or More California Residents

The Breach Notification Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) calls for covered entities and business associates to issue reports to the HHS’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) regarding data breaches and healthcare establishments are likewise instructed to adhere to state data breach notification regulations.

Lots of states have presented their own data privacy guidelines, which generally call for the giving of notifications to the right state Attorneys General when a data breach goes beyond a particular limit. States are authorized to issue civil actions against healthcare businesses that neglect to give breach notifications according to both HIPAA and state rules. In California, the limitation for reporting breaches is in keeping with HIPAA. When a data breach is suffered that has an effect on 500 or higher California locals, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) needs to be informed.

Not too long ago, there were a few cases where the California DOJ was not advised concerning ransomware attacks on California healthcare companies, even when the personal and protected health information (PHI) of California locals has most likely been compromised in the attack.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta has lately released a bulletin telling all entities that retain the private health-associated records of California citizens of their responsibilities to report data breaches under California law (Civil Code section 1798.82). Every time there is a breach of the health information of 500 and up California residents, it is necessary to submit a breach report to the Office of the Attorney General. And then, California DOJ posts the breach notification on its web portal to make sure the general population knows about the breach to enable victims to take proper action to secure themselves against identity theft and fraud. Personal announcements ought to likewise be sent to impacted persons.

Timely breach announcement helps impacted individuals minimize the probable losses that can happen due to the fake use of their personal details gotten from a breach of health information. For that reason, it is crucial for providers of medical care to be proactive and wary regarding minimizing their risk for ransomware attacks and to satisfy their health information breach notification duties to safeguard the public.

In the bulletin, Attorney General Bonta furthermore told healthcare companies to take proactive actions to safeguard patient records against ransomware attacks.

State and federal health data privacy frameworks, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA), mandate healthcare entities and organizations that manage health data files to make suitable operations to make certain the secrecy of health-related data, such as security measures that will help stop the introduction of malware, for example, ransomware, to secure consumers’ healthcare-related details from unauthorized use and disclosure.

Healthcare institutions are prompted to take these proactive measures:

  • Update operating systems and software storing health information
  • Implement security patches quickly
  • Install and update antivirus software
  • Give regular data security training to personnel, which include training concerning phishing attacks
  • Keep users from downloading, installing, and running unapproved application
  • Maintain and consistently evaluate the data backup and recovery strategy for all critical info

Heimdal Security Researchers Discover New ‘DeepBlueMagic’ Ransomware

Researchers at Heimdal Security detected a new ransomware strain that a threat group known as DeepBlueMagic is using. The ransomware differs significantly from all other earlier identified ransomware variants.

Heimdal Security researchers identified the new ransomware on August 11, 2021. The ransomware was utilized to target a device operating on Windows Server 2012 R2. The evaluation of the attack showed that DeepBlueMagic ransomware works entirely differently compared to other previous ransomware variants.

The researchers learned that DeepBlueMagic ransomware deactivates security tools set up on devices to avoid detection, then goes on to encrypt whole hard drives utilizing a third-party disk encryption tool instead of files. All the targeted server’s drives are encrypted except the system drive (“C:\” partition).

The ransomware utilizes Jetico’s BestCrypt Volume Encryption software program. During an attack, the D:\ drive was changed into a RAW partition instead of NTFS, which made it unavailable. Right after an attack, any effort to gain access to the encrypted drive will make the Windows OS interface prompt the user to format the disk because the drive is unreadable.

Additional investigation of the attack showed that the ransomware halted all the targeted device’s third-party Windows services, therefore turning off all security tools. Then, DeepBlueMagic ransomware removed the Volume Shadow Copy in Windows to make sure the drive cannot be repaired. An effort was additionally made to switch on Bitlocker on all the Active Directory’s endpoints.

In this ransomware attack, the disk encryption procedure began yet wasn’t finished; encryption was only done on the volume headers. Therefore, the encryption procedure can be continued, and also there is a rescue file generated by Jetico’s BestCrypt Volume Encryption, which may be utilized to recover the drive; nevertheless, the ransomware also encrypted the rescue file. To get the rescue file, a password is needed.

Heimdal Security explained that the ransomware is then self-deleted after the attack, therefore it cannot be restored and examined at this juncture. The researchers could not ascertain how the attacker installed the ransomware on the server. There were no failed sign-in attempts therefore it wasn’t installed through a brute force attack. There was only a Microsoft Dynamics AAX set up having a Microsoft SQL Server.

There was a ransomware note attached on the desktop, which told the victim to check through email to determine the ransom amount in exchange for the password for recovering the encrypted drives.

According to Heimdal Security researchers, since the encryption process was just partly done, it is possible to recover the drives without paying the ransom. They simulated the process of DeepBlueMagic and tried to utilize a number of decryption tools and successfully recovered the files on the encrypted partition utilizing CGSecurity.org’s free TestDisk tool.

The present ransomware issue is hot at this time with a large number of companies being impacted every day around the world. Financial losses amount to millions of dollars and there are serious social implications. This new ransomware variant just further stresses the cyber criminals’ inclination and capability to improve their business and continually increase their profit. DeepBlueMagic along with the other new cyber attackers will, definitely, continue targeting businesses worldwide, therefore it’s important for business owners to begin implementing prevention steps instead of mitigation. The battle between cyber crooks and cybersecurity organizations will likely intensify.

Data Breaches at NCH Corporation, TGH Urgent Care and Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department

NCH Corporation in Irving, TX, an international maintenance products marketer, sent a report involving a supposed ransomware attack. The organization observed suspicious network activity on March 5, 2021 when certain systems became inaccessible.

NCH had done what is required to block unauthorized access and get back the control of its systems. According to the investigation report, the attackers held access to some network areas from March 2 to March 5, 2021. In that time period, selected records on its file servers were accessed by an unauthorized person. NCH cannot determine which records were accessed, consequently all individuals who had their information potentially compromised received breach notifications. The audit of the files was done on June 29, 2021. The information found in the files were the names of some current and past employees along with their dependents, Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers.

On July 29, 2021, the provider sent notification letters to the affected people and provided credit monitoring and identity theft protection services at no cost.

The data breach report submitted to the HHS’ Office for Civil Rights indicated that the attack affected about 11,427 individuals.

Insider Incident Impacts Patients of TGH Urgent Care Run by Fast Track

Synergic Healthcare Solutions has informed 558 people concerning the likely theft of their protected health information (PHI) by an ex-worker of Tampa General Urgent Care.

The breach took place on September 9, 2020 when a former Tampa General Urgent Care employee allegedly took pictures of patient data at the TGH Urgent Care’s facility located in Seminole, FL. The breach was discovered on November 6, 2020.

The ex-worker was accused of taking pictures of patients’ credit card information and driver’s licenses. Although the ex-worker is just believed to have taken pictures of the data of 3 individuals, it was decided that all 558 patients whose records were accessed by the worker will be notified.

All people possibly impacted were provided free credit monitoring services. Since the incident, TGH has re-trained employees with regards to privacy and security as well as the reporting of probable privacy violations.

Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department Reports Exposure of COVID-19 Vaccination Data

Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department (SNPHD) has informed 13,500 people regarding the exposure of COVID-19 vaccine data on the internet.

On May 18, 2021, SNPHD became aware that information was exposed on the website of SNPHD. The data available on the site included names, date of birth, addresses, county, vaccination date, vaccination type, gender, and race.

SNPHD got in touch with its web host provider which affirmed that just one person acquired access to the data. SNPHD stated that the person has worked with SNPHD and is convinced there is no need to be concerned with regards to the access of files; nevertheless, people impacted were informed as a safety precaution.

Because of the incident, SNPHD had to provide its employees with more training with regards to HIPAA, privacy, and confidentiality to make sure that an incident such as this doesn’t happen again.