More than 82,000 NorthStar Medical Patients Get Exposed By Recent Data Breach
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- By Steven
- Mar 22, 2023
NorthStar Emergency Medical Services is an ambulance service based in Searcy, Arkansas. The company manages three EMS stations in the surrounding area and helps patients get the emergency help they need rapidly. This service provider takes medical information from patients it serves, and it may have just exposed tens of thousands of its past patients to internet hackers in a recent data breach incident. The issue could be serious for patients, and it's something they should take immediate action on to protect themselves.
How Did the Attack Occur?
The NorthStar Emergency Medical Services attack occurred when one or more people broke into the file network and began accessing files without authorization. We don't know if the break-in was due to a phishing attack, a security vulnerability in the software or something else. Either way, the attackers were able to get through the system security and access confidential files in the hospital network. Some of the files contained confidential information about patients. Many were exposed to the attack that was first detected on September 16, 2022, and it took an extended period to fully investigate the effects of this attack. It wasn't until much later that the attack was reported, and notices went out to patients informing them that their information may have been exposed.
What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?
This NorthStar Emergency Medical Services data breach caused confidential information about approximately 82,450 patients to be exposed. The information exposed includes some or all of the following details, health insurance info, Medicare or Medicaid numbers, Social Security numbers, patient ID numbers, birth dates, treatment information, and full names. This sensitive information could be used in harmful ways, and it puts patients in a bad position.
How Did NorthStar Emergency Services Admit to the Breach?
On March 14, 2023, the organization sent a notice to the Attorney General of Maine explaining the details of the data breach. This was just after becoming aware that the NorthStar data breach resulted in the loss of confidential patient data. The company also sent out personalized letters to the victims that were pointed out by the investigation. They were given information about the attack and what data may have been released by the hacker while inside the file server.
What Will Become of the Stolen Information?
The stolen information will almost certainly be used for identity theft purposes or be sold to someone else that will attempt to misuse the information. If your information was lost in this breach, you should immediately take action to protect yourself. Taking immediate action is the best way to avoid problems.
What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?
If you receive a notice from NorthStar informing you about this attack, you should take steps to protect yourself. Begin by checking your credit history for any strange activity. Also, consider putting a freeze on your credit or investing in an identity protection service that notifies you of any strange activities on your credit report. Taking these simple steps will help you stay ahead of the attackers and give you the information you need to protect yourself.