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Healthcare Under Attack: Optum Loses 6TB of Data to Ransomware

Affecting pharmacies and patients nationwide.
Heidi Council
Contributing Writer
Optum logo is seen at its office in Irvine, California. Optum is an American health services and innovation company owned by the UnitedHealth Group

The BlackCat/ALPHV ransomware group has publicly acknowledged orchestrating a cyberattack on Optum, a branch of UnitedHealth Group (UHG). Recognized as the largest healthcare entity globally, UHG works with over 1.6 million healthcare professionals across thousands of hospitals and care facilities. This incident has impacted their payment exchange platform in the U.S., causing massive service disruptions.

In their dark web declaration, BlackCat alleges the exfiltration of 6TB of data from Change Healthcare, encompassing a wide array of sensitive information across thousands of healthcare companies. The compromised data includes medical and insurance records of millions, including active military personnel.

Why it matters: This cyberattack not only calls attention to the growing threat of ransomware gangs targeting critical healthcare infrastructure but also highlights the vulnerabilities within the networks of healthcare providers in the world. The potential exposure of sensitive personal and medical information raises significant concerns and the potential for fraud and identity theft.

  • Impact on Healthcare Services: Change Healthcare, crucial for processing pharmacy transactions, is experiencing an outage that affects over 70,000 pharmacies nationwide, highlighting the attack’s extensive impact.
  • Extensive Data Compromise: BlackCat alleges to have stolen a vast array of sensitive data, including medical, insurance, and dental records, along with the personal identifiable information of millions of individuals. This breach could have far-reaching consequences for patient privacy and security.
  • Financial Implications: Beyond the immediate operational disruptions, the cyberattack poses significant financial risks, from the cost of resolving the outage to potential regulatory fines and damage to their reputation.

Go Deeper -> UnitedHealth subsidiary Optum hack linked to BlackCat ransomware – BleepingComputer

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