Welltok’s MOVEit Breach Returns; Data Stolen from 17 West Virginia Hospitals

  • By Steven
  • Dec 18, 2023

Data Stolen from 17 West Virginia Hospitals

The West Virginia University Health System (WVUHS) contains multiple institution locations, hospitals, and clinics. Welltok is a communications platform that allows patients and physicians to speak while encouraging healthy lifestyles. Like thousands of other medical providers, Welltok utilizes a third-party vendor to manage and maintain patient information; this vendor is Progress Software’s MOVEit. MOVEit has been featured in thousands of data breach incidents this year—buckle up for another.

How Did the Attack Occur? 

The MOVEit data breach has impacted thousands of organizations worldwide; a previously unknown zero-day vulnerability has allowed cybercriminals to sneak into many organizations’ networks. Progress Software found the security threat and then moved to notify organizations, culminating in a public statement in May. Subsequently, the announcement triggered a global call for internal systems investigations. Welltok was among these organizations; concerning WVUHS, Welltok’s initial investigation did not return with breached data, according to their regulator notice. Two months later, however, Welltok discovered breaches connected to WVUHS systems—they began notifying officials immediately. 

What Information Was Viewed or Stolen? 

The notice provided to the Maine Attorney General’s Office states that some personal information was compromised. The data may include patients’ names, birthdays, phone numbers, provider information, health insurance details, medical record numbers, treatment/diagnosis information, and prescription details. Additionally, the notice published online by Welltok lists Social Security Numbers, Medicare/Medicaid ID numbers, and group plan information that the breach may have exposed. (The Maine breach filing further indicates the event impacted Social Security Numbers).

How Did West Virginia University Health System Admit to the Breach? 

Progress Software publicly announced MOVEit’s breach at the end of May; around July 26th, Welltok finished their preliminary investigations. By August, however, they notified WVUHS of the possible breach. On or around August 26th, Welltok compiled the group impact list of potentially impacted hospitals. Officials sent individuals impact notices in early December.

Concerning WVUHS, impacted hospitals include West Virginia University Hospital, Uniontown Hospital, Wetzel County Hospital, Jackson General Hospital, Braxton County Memorial Hospital, Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital Corporation, St. Joseph’s Hospital of Buckhannon, Harrison Community Hospital, Barnesville Hospital Association, Wheeling Hospital, United Hospital Center, United Summit Center, Potomac Valley Hospital of West Virginia, Jefferson Medical Center, Berkeley Medical Center, Reynolds Memorial Hospital, and Summersville Regional Medical Center. 

What Will Become of the Stolen Information? 

Officials expect the stolen information to come primarily from patients within the hospital system. Further, the breach filing published on the Maine Attorney General’s website suggests 495,331 individuals may face consequences of this event. What the cybercriminals intend to do with the stolen data is uncertain; however, data owners can act to limit the criminal’s ability to misuse the information. 

What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach? 

Impacted parties will receive notifications in the coming weeks. However, they don’t have to wait for a notice to start protecting themselves. They should start by changing all applicable passwords and contact information. Investing in monitoring services is a convenient way to protect those accounts that individuals cannot quickly update. Additionally, patients should be careful of phishing events, where criminals use the data they know to “fish” for more. They must be cautious of sharing information and always confirm who they speak to before confirming or denying anything.

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