Ransomware attack exposes data of nearly 18,000 Metropolitan Urology patients

The attack potentially breached data of patients who visited the organization between 2003 and 2010.
By Jessica Davis
01:28 PM

Milwaukee-based Metropolitan Urology Group began notifying patients that a November ransomware attack may have exposed their personal data. There were 17,634 patients affected, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights.

Two of the organization’s servers were infected by the virus, which may have exposed data of patients between 2003 and 2010. Officials said the data contained names, patient account numbers, provider identification, medical procedure codes and data of the provided services. About five of these patients had their Social Security numbers exposed.

All affected patients will receive one year of free credit monitoring. Metropolitan Urology also set-up a call center to field questions about the breach.

[Special report: Ransomware rising but where are the breach reports? 
A primer: Health data breach vs. security incident]

Metropolitan Urology has been working with an IT firm to remove the ransomware and is taking steps to prevent future attacks. According to the official statement, the organization blocked all traffic from the affected servers, improved its firewall, email security and protection on all employee devices and is also bolstering its policies and procedures.

The organization is currently conducting a risk analysis on its IT system to determine any other vulnerabilities. Officials said both Metropolitan Urology and its IT vendor, Digicorp, will undergo IT security training.

Metropolitan Urology said the attack happened on November 28, 2016, it became aware of the ransomware on January 10, and it started sending notifications on March 10.

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
Email the writer: jessica.davis@himssmedia.com

Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn

More regional news

Doctor in PPE

Photo by Morsa Images/Getty Images

MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center MemorialCare Health System mental health

MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center (Credit: MemorialCare Health System)

Want to get more stories like this one? Get daily news updates from Healthcare IT News.
Your subscription has been saved.
Something went wrong. Please try again.