Baptist Medical Center Malware Breach Compromises More Than a Million Accounts

  • By Patrick Ryan
  • Jun 30, 2022

The latest string of hacks is highlighted by an especially harmful digital attack on Baptist Medical Center. The malware incident centers on data exfiltration. About 1.2 million patient medical accounts were compromised. 

However, additional information pertaining to the hack is still coming in, so there is the potential for the number of victims to swell well beyond a million.

How Significant is the Hack?

As of the date of this publication, the Department of Health and Human Services’ website states the hack is the fourth largest on record. The expansiveness of the attack is becoming clearer as more information trickles in. Those interested in cyber security will find it interesting that four of the year’s top 10 hacks occurred in the month of June.

Why did the Attack Occur?

According to data privacy experts, it appears that the Baptist Medical Center and other recent victims of hacks are failing to create and execute administrative policies and the necessary technical defenses to oversee information system activity for data management.

When was the Hack Discovered?

The hack was identified on April 20. The company released a statement on that date stating systems on the network had likely been compromised with harmful code.

How was the Attack Executed?

Malicious code was used to perform the attack. It appears as though an unauthorized party obtained access to systems with personal information and plucked some of that information from the network in the initial three weeks of April. However, the forensics investigation is still ongoing, so there is the potential for additional information about lost data to be revealed in the weeks and months ahead.

What Information was Stolen in the Attack?

The forensics report indicates patient names, dates of birth, social security numbers, and addresses were stolen in the hack. Furthermore, sensitive medical information, including complaints, reasons for visits, diagnoses, treatment modalities, and dates of service, was also stolen in the hack. 

There is also the potential for claims and billing information to have been compromised in the attack. However, patients’ financial information and driver’s license numbers were not compromised.

How did Baptist Medical Center Respond to the Data Breach?

Baptist Medical Center states it is bolstering its digital security, improving monitoring capabilities, and hardening systems as necessary to reduce the chances of a similar hack occurring in the future. However, the company’s representatives have not cooperated with the media. The hospital did not respond to a request for more information about the attack, including whether the attack included ransomware with a ransom that may or may not has been paid.

How can Similar Hacks be Prevented?

A close analysis of the Baptist Medical Center hack and similar digital attacks will help cyber security specialists better understand the nuances of the attack. Aside from enhancing digital security protections and reviewing disaster recovery plans, it will also help provide employees with cyber security training.

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