A ransomware attack that has possibly resulted in the theft of plan subscriber’ protected health information has been reported by a business associate of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. This is the second recent data breach affecting Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan plan subscriber that experience in December 2018. Some plan suscribers’ PHI was saved on a laptop computer that was stolen from another business associate at a different time.
The latest breach was reported by Austin, TX-based Wolverine Solutions Group, a supplier that provides business services to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and a number of other healthcare groups. On September 23, 2018, ransomware was placed on its network that lead to the encryption of files on servers and workstations, including files containing protected health information.
An external computer forensics firm was hired to complete an investigation into the breach but discovered no evidence of data exfiltration; however, data theft could not be entirely eliminated. The range of information that was possibly accessed and copied included demographic data, health plan contract numbers and a restricted amount of health information. Some Social Security numbers may also have been impacted.
Databreaches.net reported that the data breach was not restricted to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Other healthcare clients were also impacted including Molina Healthcare. 895 Molina Healthcare patients have also been alerted that their PHI was potentially obtained.
Wolverine Solutions has contacte all affected persons to make them aware of the breach and, as a precautionary measure, has offered 1 year of free credit monitoring services to breach victims. Due to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s policies, its plan subscriber have been offered extended protection for 2 years.
Wolverine Solutions has already implemented new measures to enhance security and has moved to a new computer system that has added protection against these types of hacking attempts. All staff members have also received further training on the new security measures.