UnityPoint Health Phishing Attack Compromises Several Employee Email Accounts

by | Apr 23, 2018

It has been discovered that UnityPoint Health employee accounts have been compromised and accessed by unauthorized persons.

The employee email accounts were initially accessed on November 1, 2017 and went on for a period of three months until February 7, 2018, when the phishing attack was discovered and access to the compromised email accounts was prevented.

Upon finding the phishing attack, UnityPoint Health contracted the a computer forensics company to investigate the extent of the breach and the number of patients that were targets. The investigation found that a wide range of protected health information had possibly been obtained by the hackers, which incorporated names in combination with one or more of the following data elements:

Number of medical record, age details, times of service, treatment details, surgical description, lab test results, diagnoses, provider information and insurance data.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ breach portal has still not published the details of the security breach, so it remains unclear exactly how many patients have been in some way harmed by the breach. Alerts to individuals impacted by the breach were first mailed on April 16, 2018.

So far there have been no reports submitted to report any health information being used to gain profit. However, since PHI may have been stolen by the hackers, The UnityPoint Health organization has recommended affected anyone who may have been affected should take steps to protect against insurance fraud an identity theft. Those measures include monitoring insurers’ Explanation of Benefits statements, monitoring accounts for fraudulent activity, and contacting insurers for a complete list of all medical services paid under their insurance policy and to carefully review the list for any services that have not been administered.

The incident has lead to UnityPoint Health bolstering security controls to stop incidents this being experience in the future.

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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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