The Altus Baytown Hospital (ABH) network was hit by a ransomware outbreak which has led to the leak of patient data.
The Texas hospital said that, on roughly September 3, ABH discovered an unauthorized access and a malware that was freely moving through the organization’s systems network.
The hacker behind the unauthorized access deployed malicious code and infected the hospital’s systems with a strain of ransomware.
The ransomware that was affecting the hospital network is known as Dharma. As soon as was deployed the malware started to encrypt files and then demanded a ransom payment in return for the decrypt keys.
Dharma, also known as CrySIS, has been making the rounds over the course of this year. According to cybersecurity researchers, the malware strain has been used in recent attacks against a brewery and maritime ports. Every week are found new loaders and file systems of upgraded variants.
In this cyber attack, the hospital lost many of its records that were containing patient information such as names, home addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, driver license numbers, credit card information, phone numbers, and medical data.
Remember everything can be hacked. In order to stay away from any threats related to the cyber world, we recommend the install of antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac on every device that you own, depending on which OS your device is running. If you are a company, it is also recommended to hire every year a specialized cybersecurity company that will run annual tests on your company’s network. These tests include penetration testing and ethical hacking tests;
This new strain of Dharma is special because besides encrypting the data it is also exfiltrating it to simply secure the blackmail payment. For now, ABH has not revealed how many patients may be affected.
Besides the hospital itself, affiliate parties including Altus Women’s Center of Baytown, Oprex Surgery (Baytown), Clarus Imaging (Baytown), LP, Clarus Imaging (Beaumont), Zerenity Baytown, and Altus Radiation Oncology Baytown were affected by the cybersecurity attack as information from these entities was stored on the same systems.
The hospital chose not to pay the ransom; because ABH was able to restore ABH’s servers from backups.
The patients that were affected by the security incident have been informed, and now they are advised to keep an eye on their credit reports and watch for any suspicious activity or transactions which may be fraudulent.
Keep in mind that our modern society is dependent on computers, mobile devices, and the use of the internet always stay safe and secured.
We would continue to monitor the cybersecurity world. Meanwhile, users should keep a keen eye out for any cyber attacks. Remember to use an antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac in every device that you own, depending on which OS your machine is running, If you are a company we recommend to hire every year a specialized cybersecurity company that will run annual tests on your company’s network, tests like this include: penetration testing and ethical hacking.