PHI Compromised Due to Owens Ear Center, Blackbaud Inc and Premier Healthcare Partners Data Breaches

A ransomware attack on Owens Ear Center based in Fort Worth, Texas happened on May 28, 2020 that caused encryption of patient information. The encrypted device comprised patients’ healthcare records that enclosed data like names, birth dates, addresses, medical insurance details, health details, and Social Security numbers.

In a lot of ransomware attacks on healthcare companies, healthcare information is stolen prior to encryption. These double extortion attacks demand a ransom payment so as to decrypt files and avoid the selling or exposure of the stolen information. Owens Ear Center looked into the ransomware attack and didn’t come across any proof that suggests the access or duplication of patient data before file encryption and thinks this was just an effort to get money from the provider and that the threat actors weren’t concerned about patient records.

Nonetheless, because unauthorized data access couldn’t be disregarded, all impacted patients received notifications and, as a security precaution, were given free identity theft protection services. Steps were already undertaken to enhance protection against ransomware attacks.

The breach report on the HHS’ Office for Civil Rights breach website stated that due to the ransomware attack, the data of 19,908 people were encrypted.

Blackbaud Inc. Ransomware Attack Affects Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation received notification from one of its business associates concerning the likely access of the protected health information (PHI) of a number of its patients by unauthorized persons.

Blackbaud Inc., a customer relationship management systems provider for not-for-profit companies, encountered a ransomware attack and the attacker was able to access a file made up of limited patient information. The breach transpired between February 7, 2020 and May 20, 2020.

The file included data like patients’ names, dates of birth, addresses, and other basic demographic records. Blackbaud gave a ransom payment and recovered its information. Blackbaud is convinced no information was disclosed to any third party or was open to the public.

Blackbaud had immediately recognized and resolved the exploited vulnerability, and toughened its IT system defenses by enhancing network segmentation and access management, and also implementing more endpoint and network-based systems.

Email Account Breach Discovered by Premier Healthcare Partners

Premier Healthcare Partners located in Dayton, OH learned that an unauthorized person got access to the email accounts of a number of of its workers and likely viewed or acquired the PHI of a number of patients of Help Me Grow Brighter Futures, CompuNet Clinical Laboratories, Clinical Neuroscience Institute and Samaritan Behavioral Health Inc. (SBHI).

Upon being aware of the incident on June 8, 2020, Premier Healthcare Partners promptly secured the email accounts and investigated the breach to identify the nature and extent of the breach. On July 17, it was established that an individual who isn’t related to Premier Healthcare Partners got access to the email accounts.

A thorough assessment of the compromised email accounts is now in progress and impacted patients will receive notifications in case their PHI was compromised upon finalization of the review. At this time, there is no report received that suggests the access, duplication, or improper use of PHI.

About Christine Garcia 1299 Articles
Christine Garcia is the staff writer on Calculated HIPAA. Christine has several years experience in writing about healthcare sector issues with a focus on the compliance and cybersecurity issues. Christine has developed in-depth knowledge of HIPAA regulations. You can contact Christine at [email protected]. You can follow Christine on Twitter at