Aspire Health, a Nashville-based in-home healthcare provider, suffered a phishing attack on Sept. 3 in which a hacker gained access to its internal email system, according to court documents cited by Tennessean.com. The phishing attack originated from a website with an Eastern European IP address for which Google is the registrar.
The attacker apparently forwarded 124 emails containing PHI and other confidential information to an external email account. It was not clear how many patients were affected or what type of PHI was accessed. Information that might have been exposed included patient address, date of birth, provider’s name, and Medicaid number.
Proofpoint SVP of Cybersecurity Strategy Ryan Kalember observed: “The Aspire Health breach is emblematic of the most common cyberattack method that continues to hit the healthcare sector, cybercriminals targeting people through the email channel to steal data and compromise accounts.”
“Healthcare employees are especially vulnerable to email-based attacks due to the high volume of personal health information they access, their frequent email communication with patients, time constraints in acute care settings, and highly publicized ransoms being paid by healthcare organizations. Our research shows that attackers continue to target healthcare workers into opening unsafe email attachments and clicking on malicious links,” Kalember said. Visit HealthITSecurity to read this article in its entirety.
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