San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning California has suffered a data breach that they’ve begun notifying patients about. Unauthorized access to the hospitals network began on October 29th and continued until November 10th. After the hospital was made aware of the breach, they hired a third-party investigative firm to try to narrow down the cause of the issue. The total number of affected individuals has not yet been reported. The hospital also declined to comment when asked if they were dealing with a ransomware attack. Impacted data revealed in San Gorgonio’s public statement included: names, addresses, dates of birth, medical record numbers, visit ID numbers. The stolen information also included clinical information, such as dates of service, provider names, and/or department names. In some cases patients’ Social Security numbers, drivers’ license numbers, financial account information, and health insurance information was also exposed.
The ever-increasing trend of threat actors targeting healthcare organizations will likely unfortunately continue into 2023. It is unclear if this instance is a ransomware attack, but data theft is a common tactic used by ransomware operators to force victims into paying a data extortion ransom. Any impacted patients should ensure that they follow mitigation steps to protect themselves. This includes setting up credit monitoring to ensure that if data gets leaked, fraudulent accounts can not be opened using victims’ Social Security Numbers. Targeted phishing attempts have the potential to take place as well. Any suspicious messages should be dealt with cautiously and no personal information should be provided unless the sender can be verified.