Shingle Springs Health and Wellness Center Ransomware Attack Impacted 21,000 Patients

Shingle Springs Health and Wellness Center (SSHWC) in Placerville, CA had a ransomware attack recently and 21,513 patients’ protected health information (PHI) were potentially compromised.

SSHWC learned about the server infrastructure compromise and the ransomware deployment on April 7, 2019. The attack made the entire computer systems of SSHWC inoperable, so accessing patient data and crucial files was not possible.

SSHWC investigated the breach without delay and send a report of the cyberattack to the FBI and the Indian Health Service. SSHWC had new servers set up already. System upgrades and workstation enhancements in all departments are currently being implemented.

Though the hacker’s intention for the ransomware attack is probably extortion of SSHWC, files containing PHI were possibly compromised. The files contained information such as names, phone numbers, addresses, health insurance plan information, names of provider, service dates, amount of money paid or payable, diagnosis codes as well as Social Security numbers. SSHWC provided all impacted patients with no cost credit monitoring services for one year.

This incident is already the third major healthcare ransomware attack announced in just a few days. The ransomware attack on Estes Park Health on June 2, 2019 also affected its computer systems so that patient information can’t be accessed. Estes Park Health paid a ransom amount (not disclosed to the public) to retrieve the decryption keys, however a number of files were not unlocked. Extra ransom payment was given to the attackers just to get the keys to unlock the other files.

Boardman, OH N.E.O Urology also just semt a ransomware attack report. A $75,000 ransom was paid to restore all encrypted files.

The three ransomware attacks were just some of the breaches healthcare companies reported in two months. According to a Malwarebytes report, ransomware attacks are getting popular once again with the hackers. A 195% increase in ransomware attacks was noted In Q1 of 2019. Mostly, healthcare organizations are targeted by the attackers.