New York Healthcare Provider Notified 600k Following Network Cyberattack

  • By Steven
  • Dec 05, 2023

Network Cyberattack

East River Medical Imaging (ERMI) has three locations in New York City and Westchester County. ERMI is a “multi-modality radiology center,” including patient-centered solutions like MRIs, CTs, ultrasounds, imaging, radiology, fluoroscopy, and x-rays. They have served New York since 1970 and have a long history of high-quality patient care. At the end of August, an unauthorized actor accessed their network—exposing sensitive information from employees and patients. 

How Did the Attack Occur? 

The Notice of Data Security Incident, published on the ERMI website, states the cyberattack occurred through their IT network. An unauthorized party gained access to the environment and could access and copy certain documents within the system. There is no additional information about the attack or how the unauthorized actors initially gained access. However, the notice indicates the event involved no employee or human errors, so the actors likely gained access through other means. They may have done this through a stolen credential or a system vulnerability. The notice does not imply that investigations are ongoing; subsequently, the public may never know how the assailants made the attack.

What Information Was Viewed or Stolen? 

The information that was stolen is different between individuals and impacts both employees and patients. Regarding patients, the stolen information may include their full name, contact information (phone number and email), Social Security Number, insurance information, exam and procedure details, referring physicians, and imaging results. Conversely, employees with stolen information may have data that includes their full name, contact information, financial account details, Social Security Number, and state-issued ID numbers like driver’s licenses. No matter your relationship to ERMI now is the time to ensure your data isn’t at risk for misuse; the data stolen in this event is more than enough to commit further cybercrimes, including impersonations or fraud. 

How Did East River Medical Imaging Admit to the Breach? 

The unauthorized actors accessed ERMI’s network from August 31st, 2023, to September 20th. On or around that day (September 20th), officials discovered suspicious activity and referred to cyber experts and authorities. The notice states they opened internal investigations with these auxiliary persons, but does not indicate when officials completed the review. The next most notable date in the event timeline is November 22nd; officials began sending notices to those believed impacted on this day. 

What Will Become of the Stolen Information? 

Although the stolen information is known, the motivations of the threat actors remain cloudy. They might use it in various ways, from financial to medical fraud, or for impersonation plots to garner more; they could sell the data to the highest bidder on a dark forum or keep it for their extracurricular activities. Regardless of what the assailants do next, ERMI patients and employees can limit the thieves’ impact by taking action. 

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

According to the breach filing published on the Department of Health and Human Services website, the breach may impact 605,809 individuals; subsequently, those associated with ERMI must take defensive precautions to protect their data. They can start securing their sensitive accounts with multi-factor authentications and complex passwords. Additionally, the assailants may have taken some medical information; patients should review and verify statements regarding services rendered by healthcare providers.

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