Last year, the Law Enforcement Health Benefits (LEHB), a health and welfare fund for Philadelphia police officers, county detectives, and sheriffs, was hit by ransomware. According to the organization, intruders began encrypting material stored on the business’s network on September 14, 2021. Following an examination, it was discovered on February 25 that unauthorized individuals may have removed “certain impacted files” carrying members’ personal data from the network.
According to an entry in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) breach portal, over 85,000 members might be impacted. “The impacted information includes names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, financial account numbers, health insurance information, and medical information,” says the firm in a statement. “Not all LEHB members had information impacted, and not all of the above data elements were impacted for each person.”
The health plan provider says it’s not aware of any instances of identity fraud or inappropriate data usage as a consequence of the issue. Still, it’s notifying impacted members and giving free credit monitoring to individuals whose Social Security numbers were possibly obtained. It also advises users to set up fraud alerts or security freezes on their credit files and get a free credit report.
According to the organization, cybersecurity dangers are constantly evolving. As a result, LEHB has made extra efforts to safeguard its network and strengthen internal procedures to identify and remediate any threats. LEHB continues to evaluate and improve its internal rules and processes to reduce the risk of a repeat occurrence.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, the healthcare industry has been particularly severely struck by ransomware. The FBI’s 2021 Internet Crime Report confirmed that healthcare saw the most ransomware attacks out of all critical infrastructure sectors last year. Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services said it received complaints of data breaches from 578 healthcare institutions in 2021, affecting approximately 41.45 million people.
The Conti ransomware gang was responsible for most of these attacks during the year. It successfully attacked at least 16 US healthcare institutions and first responder networks. Not only this, but it also targeted Ireland’s Health Service Executive and Department of Health.