Attacks/Breaches

2/8/2018
11:15 AM
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Tennessee Hospital Hit With Cryptocurrency Mining Malware

Decatur County General Hospital is notifying 24,000 patients of cryptocurrency mining software on its EMR system.

Decatur County General Hospital (DCGH) in Parsons, Tennessee, recently discovered cryptocurrency mining malware on its its Electronic Medical Record (EMR) server. The hospital began informing 24,000 patients of the attack on January 26.

On November 27, 2017, the hospital received a security incident report from its EMR system vendor, which said unauthorized software, designed to mine cryptocurrency, had been installed on the server supported by the vendor. An ongoing investigation has indicated an unauthorized attacker accessed the server with the EMR system and injected the software.

The hospital's EMR server contained data including patient names, addresses, birthdates, and social security numbers, as well as diagnosis and treatment data. There is no evidence either type of data was taken or viewed, and so far it doesn't seem data theft was the attacker's goal. However, the hospital cannot definitively prove data was not compromised and is therefore notifying patients.

DCGH has not named the EMR system vendor and is offering patients the myTrueIdentity online credit monitoring service for one year. Read more details here.

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tmerrem945
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tmerrem945,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2018 | 1:30:08 PM
you'd assume the EMR data is encrypted
It troubles me that the hospital cannot confirm if the data was taken or viewed.  Had the data been encrypted, then they can be certain the intruder wasn't able to view the information.  
BrianN060
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BrianN060,
User Rank: Ninja
2/8/2018 | 5:09:46 PM
Re: you'd assume the EMR data is encrypted
@tmerrem945: sensitive data that leaves a private network should be encrypted.  Data kept within a private network might be encrypted - but anyone (real person or system/application process), that needs access to those data values, has to have the means to decrypt that data. 

So, if an attacker has acquired the necessary credentials,  they'll have the access privileges that go with those credentials. 

Post breech forensics might be able to determine if the attacker used stolen credentials - but that can take time; and breech notification requirements don't always leave enough time for a complete investigation.  
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