Atrium Health at Wake Forest Suffered a Major Breach Losing Patient Data
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- By Steven
- Jun 22, 2023
Atrium Health is a major health services provider for primary care and specialty care at Wake Forest in North Carolina. The service provides care to thousands of individuals and manages data for all those people. Some of that data was recently lost to a data breach that's left patients, doctors, and staff members uncertain and concerned. The breach occurred quickly and created some issues that anyone relying on Atrium Health should be aware of.
How Did the Attack Occur?
The Atrium Health data breach occurred because attackers leveraged a phishing campaign against a company employee. The breach started on April 18, 2023, and persisted until April 20, 2023. Any of the personal or medical files accessible from the employee's email account became at risk from this breach, and patients and staff members could have been exposed to the breach.
What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?
There is no way to know what data was accessed or stolen specifically, but we know what information could potentially be stolen during this breach. The at-risk information includes patient names, Social Security numbers, health insurance information, hospital account record numbers, and birth dates. All this data could have been taken from the email account. Anyone whose information was stolen in this breach could suffer serious identity theft attacks as a result. We suspect that additional information was taken from the email account, and it's possible the attacker is planning future attacks leveraging the data gathered during the initial breach.
How Did Atrium Health Wake Forest Admit to the Breach?
The Wake Forest Baptist Network put out a news release explaining the breach and who is potentially at risk because of this loss of information. The organization also sent out individual notices to anyone identified as having information exposed in the breach. If you receive a letter or another notice, you could have been impacted by this breach.
What Will Become of the Stolen Information?
The information stolen from ATrium Health may be used to launch additional phishing attacks in an attempt to gather more information still. There is no way to know how the data will be used by the attackers, but it's likely the information will be leveraged in a way to help the hackers earn money or gain more information for future attacks. Even a little information can make future identity theft attacks possible, and a great deal of data became available because of this breach.
What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?
If you receive a notice from Wake Forest or Atrium Health explaining that your data may have been exposed in the recent breach, you should take immediate action to protect yourself. Begin by checking your credit for any strange changes. Consider investing in a credit monitoring service for future protection or putting a freeze on your credit for several months to prevent any planned attacks on your credit. You should also be careful to avoid giving away personal information via email or SMS to anyone you don't know and trust well.