400,000 Planned Parenthood patients' data was stolen by ransomware hackers. With that, medical records and other sensitive data of the reproductive health care group are now in the hands of hackers.
Planned Parenthood Patients' Data Stolen
The disclosure came in a certain sample letter that was posted to the California attorney general's official website and a release that was published by the organization. Both said that the intrusion and data theft was just limited to Planned Parenthood Los Angeles chapter's patients.
Organizational personnel initially saw the hack on October 17 then proceeded to conduct an investigation. With that, the letter revealed that the investigation was able to determine that an unauthorized person was able to gain access to their network between October 9 and October 17.
What Information was Stolen
The hackers were able to exfiltrate some particular files from their system during this timeline. The letter then went on to say that on November 4, they were able to identify that the files contained the names along with either address, date of birth, insurance info, critical information like diagnosis, procedure, and/or prescription info.
The release noted that the intruder was able to install malware/ransomware in order to exfiltrate some files from their system within the timeframe. To add, the organization stated that they have no evidence that the stolen data was used for certain fraudulent purposes.
Ransomware Attacks Fortune 500 Firms
Ransomware has started to become a scourge hitting both Fortune 500 firms as well as small nonprofits. In addition, the story by ArsTechnica said that the criminals behind attacks usually extort money with threats of not only locking up the victim's network but also leaking their data online should their ransom remain unpaid.
At the time this article was written, there were no reports of any data from the Planned Parenthood patients being published.
Notable Ransomware Attacks
In May, a huge ransomware hack occurred, attacking the Colonial Pipeline and causing disruptions when it comes to gasoline distribution in the southeastern US. With that, just a few weeks later, the world's largest meat producer JBS SA, also suffered a ransomware attack which caused five of their largest JBS beef plants in the US to shut down their operations.
Another significant ransomware attack caused a Canadian JBS beef plant responsible for processing almost a third of the country's federally inspected cattle also shut down. Nonprofit organizations, on the other hand, have also been targeted by ransomware, with homeless shelters, hospitals, and community groups all in the crosshairs.
Planned Parenthood Columbia Chapter Hacked
Earlier this year, data that came from the Planned Parenthood chapter located in the District of Columbia was also held for ransom.
Ransomware has become a widespread problem in the United States, resulting in the Ransomware Disclosure Act, as reported in a previous article by TechTimes. To expand, the Act requires companies that fall victim to the attacks to report ransomware payment within 48 hours.
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Written by Urian B.