Group Health Cooperative falls victim to ransomware attack, 500K people affected

The Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin (GHC-SCW) has fallen victim to a cyberattack that leaked the data of roughly 534,000 people.

The protected health information (PHI) stolen during the data breach includes:

  • Member/patient names
  • Addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Dates of birth/or death
  • Social Security numbers
  • Member numbers
  • Medicare and/or Medicaid numbers

The health organization detected unauthorized access to its systems on January 25th 2024, which rendered several of the GHC-SCW’s systems inoperable. The attacker tried to encrypt the organization's systems but was unsuccessful.

The GHC-SCW reported the cyberattack to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and employed external cybersecurity agents to tackle the matter.

It was identified that the hacker had copied the GHC-SCW’s data, and the breach was later claimed by an unnamed “foreign ransomware gang” who contacted the healthcare provider after the fact.

In the breach notification letter, the GHC-SCW states that it has “taken additional steps to help mitigate any harm that might result from this incident by working with the FBI and US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).”

Furthermore, the healthcare provider has “implemented enhanced security measures” across its IT systems and networks and has taken steps to strengthen its security posture.

The GHC-SCW is offering one year of monitoring services to those affected by the attack.

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