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Gamma ransomware hits California-based Hernia Institute, compromising 15,974 patient records

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  • The data compromised by the attack includes the information of patients who were treated prior to July 19th, 2018.
  • The compromised data includes patients’ full names, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, diagnosis and appointment details.

California-based National Ambulatory Hernia Institute was hit by a ransomware attack that compromised a total of 15,974 patient records. The healthcare organization’s systems were infected by the Gamma ransomware on September 13, 2018.

The attackers used phishing emails to gain access to systems and distribute the Gamma ransomware. Investigators discovered that the phishing email was connected to an email address that is linked to cybercriminals operating the Gamma ransomware.

“Our office has experienced a Ransomware attack on September 13th, 2018. The attack was tied to an email address Glynnaddey@aol[.]com,” the National Ambulatory Hernia Institute said in a statement.

The data compromised by the attack includes the information of patients who were treated prior to July 19th, 2018. The compromised data includes patients’ full names, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, diagnosis and appointments details.

“If you were treated by one of our physicians prior to July 19th, 2018 your demographic information may have been compromised. If your information was not in our possession prior to July 19th, 2018 there is no possibility that your information was compromised,” the healthcare organization added.

The medical firm is still investigating the matter. It has also taken a few precautionary steps to combat future such attacks. This includes shifting all its data to an off-site server.

“Our office has moved all of our data to an off-site server, continues to investigate this matter, and has taken steps to eliminate the possibility of a future breach including the purchase of a more robust firewall and antivirus,” the healthcare organization said. “If you believe your personal information has been compromised we recommend that you obtain an Identity Monitoring Service for a period of at least one year.”

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