Phishing Attack Affects 2,393 Patients of Southwest Washington Regional Surgery Center

by | Nov 19, 2018

Vancouver, Washington, based Southwest Washington Regional Surgery Center has been hit by a phishing attack that has lead to the exposure of 2,393 patients’ protected health information.

The breach was restricted to a single staff email account and no proof was found to indicate any emails have been accessed or downloaded by the hacker. A thorough investigation was carried out with the help of a third-party cybersecurity agency. The investigation finished on September 25.

The investigation incorporated a manual review of all emails in the hacked account to identify patients impacted and the range of information that may have been impacted.

Southwest Washington Regional Surgery Center revealed in its breach notice that the beach was restricted to these PHI elements: Names, driver’s license details, Social Security numbers, medical records and for a restricted number of patients, credit card numbers.

The investigation showed that the email account was compromised on May 27, 2018 and access remained open until August 13, 2018.

Patients impacted by the breach were issued breach notification letters on November 6, 2018 and have been offered free credit monitoring and identity theft restoration services for one year. Information has also been made available on the measures that should employed to lessen the danger of identity theft and fraud.

The breach has led to Southwest Washington Regional Surgery Center to improve its email access procedures to stop further successful phishing attacks, passwords were reset, and its password policy refreshed.

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Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy is a highly accomplished journalist and editor with nearly two decades of experience in the field. With expertise in writing and editing content, Patrick has made significant contributions to various publications and organizations. Over the course of his career, Patrick has successfully managed teams of writers, overseeing the production of high-quality content and ensuring its adherence to professional standards. His exceptional leadership skills, combined with his deep understanding of journalistic principles, have allowed him to create cohesive and engaging narratives that resonate with readers. A notable area of specialization for Patrick lies in compliance, particularly in relation to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). He has authored numerous articles delving into the complexities of compliance and its implications for various industries. Patrick's comprehensive understanding of HIPAA regulations has positioned him as a go-to expert, sought after for his insights and expertise in this field. Patrick's bachelors degree is from the University of Limerick and his master's degree in journalism is from Dublin City University. You can contact Patrick through his LinkedIn profile:

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