| Individuals June 25, 2018


June 25, 2018

Healthcare still a key target for data breaches in May

By Lookout

Breach Report May

The month of May multiple data leaks and breaches, tens of millions impacted, no industry left unaffected. A quick look at the numbers-and the stories behind the breaches themselves-reveals how damaging even a single breach can be.

The numbers don't lie

21,979,161 accounts were impacted over the past 31 days from 16 different breaches. Eight of those breaches were international and all major industries were affected. Breaches are a worldwide problem that have global impact for every type of organization and all consumers.

Healthcare in the crosshairs

In a continuing trend, the healthcare industry remained a key target in May. We saw four significant breaches over the course of the month. What sorts of data get exposed when healthcare organizations are infiltrated? Let's dig deeper into three of the breach stories to find out.

  • LifeBridge Health, a nonprofit healthcare corporation operating in Maryland, confirmed over 530,000 records were breached, including names, addresses, dates of birth, diagnoses, medications, clinical and treatment information, insurance information, and in some instances Social Security numbers.
  • MedEvolve, a healthcare software company, leaked over 200,000 patient records, including 23,000 Social Security numbers.
  • The Oregon Clinic, the largest physician-owned multi-specialty clinic in Oregon, reported an unauthorized party has accessed patients' records, including names, dates of birth, and certain medical information. This medical information may include medical record numbers, diagnosis information, medical condition, diagnostic tests performed, prescription information, and/or health insurance information. For some individuals, Social Security numbers were also affected.

Even with a quick overview of just one industry, it doesn't take much to imagine what hackers are able to do with this type of sensitive personal and medical information.

Breaches impact multiple industries every month

Breaches in the education, retail, and finance sectors all made news in May, too.

In education, University of Greenwich reported that 20,000 records were leaked and posted publicly online. The leaked information included names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses, as well as personal information like physical or mental health problems and learning difficulties.

In retail, Wendy's confirmed a data breach that affected 82,150 customers of the fast food giant, including financial information names, phone numbers, home addresses, hashed passwords, transaction details, and payment methods. In addition, Chili's Grill & Bar reported a data breach impacting an unknown number of customers, including credit and debit card numbers.  

Most exposed information in May

It will likely come as little surprise to hear that first and last names were the most frequently exposed "data type" in last month's breaches. Names always top the list every month, and - since this information is publically-available all across the web - it doesn't raise too many alarms for most consumers.

Yet when you link names with the second-most exposed data types for the month - passwords, phone numbers, addresses, and private healthcare records - the threat becomes more concerning. Aggregated data, spilled across the web, may allow attackers to form more complete pictures of who a person is and later steal identities.

Hackers can use or sell information that allows those with malicious intent to do real harm, including:

  • Illegally access accounts
  • Duplicate credit cards
  • Use personal information for fraud and/or identity theft
  • Initiate more targeted scams
 What can you do?

As you the data shows, breaches show no sign of letting up. Take control.

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