Shields Health Care Group Hacked

  • By Patrick Ryan
  • Jun 10, 2022

Shields Health Care Group, a medical imaging provider, has been hacked. A total of two million people were affected by the attack. As detailed below, patient health information was stolen in the incident. 
Let’s delve into the details of the latest digital security breach with significant and widespread ramifications.

Why is the Hack Important?

Aside from the fact that this online attack affected two million individuals, it is also important as it is the most significant healthcare industry data breach in the new year. Based on data provided to federal regulators, the Shields Health Care Group hack is larger than any other health industry data breach through the initial five months of the year.  

Shields Health Care Group takes pride in its reputation as being one of the industry’s premier imaging services providers. Shields Health Care Group is the official MRI provider for several pro sports squads, including the Boston Bruins and New England Patriots.

When did the Attack Occur?

The hack was reported to the United States Department of Health and Human Services on May 27. The initial report referenced an incident pertaining to a network server. The attack compromised the information of more than 50 of the healthcare services provider’s clients. Facilities operated by the healthcare provider along with hospitals are attempting to rebound from the hack, taking stock of affected data and proceeding accordingly.

What, Exactly, Occurred During the Attack?

The statement provided by Shields’ representatives indicates an unknown actor obtained access to the company’s systems across a two-week period in March. The actor acquired data though the company did not confirm any theft until after its initial security alert in mid-March.

Though Shields has not confirmed the specifics of the information stolen, the company has revealed sensitive patient data might have been exposed. As an example, the hack might have yielded valuable information ranging from social security numbers to full names, dates of birth, insurance information, patient ID numbers, and more. Though the breach affected two million people, including patients battling illness and disease, the number of individuals victimized should not come as a surprise considering the fact that imaging is a diagnostic tool with widespread use. A company spokesperson has stated there is no evidence that shows the stolen information was used for fraud or identity theft.

How did Shields Respond to the Hack?

Representatives from Shields took to the internet to acknowledge the hack and detail its response for customers, potential customers, and the general public. The company posted a data security incident announcement on its site after the attack.  

The official notice posted to the web by the Shields Health Care Group details how the company was alerted to shady activity on its internal network in late March. The company investigated the activity, collaborating with digital security specialists to gauge the scope of the attack and the appropriate response. Shields’ representatives also noted that the company took the steps necessary to bolster its digital security, going to the extent of rebuilding systems.

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