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.