Mercy Hospital in Iowa Noticed Data-Capturing Virus

As per a statement issued by the hospital late previous week, a computer virus might have permitted hackers to get the data of roughly 15,000 sick persons of Mercy Iowa City.

Sick persons began to be informed of the security break by mailing on Friday, March 25, 2016, and have been notified that their name, date of birth, address, treatment information, medical analyses, as well as health insurance details – containing their policy number and also provider name – might have been undermined. A few Social Security numbers might also have been illegally accessed as a consequence of the infection. Just a small part of Mercy patients have been impacted by the break, all of whom had earlier gone to either Mercy Clinic for treatment or Iowa City’s Mercy Hospital.

Mercy recruited the services of a prominent computer forensics company to carry out a complete investigation of its computer systems following a warning received from police on January 29, 2015, concerning a possible computer virus contagion. The forensic investigation discovered a lot of the hospital’s computer systems had been affected by a virus on January 26, 2016.

In current weeks, 5 hospitals in the United States have informed cyberattacks concerning ransomware, even though in this case the intention of the virus wasn’t to encrypt files but to thieve them. Mercy hasn’t gotten any information that files have been used wrongly, and no indication has been found to indicate saved health info was actually infiltrated or seen by the attackers, however, data thievery could not be precluded.

Therefore patients might be at risk of suffering fraud or identity theft and must take measures to protect their accounts. As insurance information has possibly been undermined, patients must check Explanation of Benefits (EOB) reports meticulously for any indication of fake activity and must think placing scam warnings on their credit files.

The detection of the virus has encouraged Mercy to reevaluate security safeguards and technical protections have now been upgraded at the hospital to better safeguard patient health files. A police inquiry into the Mercy Iowa City data break is continuing.

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Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a news reporter specializing in information technology cyber security. Mark has contributed to leading publications and spoken at international forums with a focus on cybersecurity threats and the importance of data privacy. Mark is a computer science graduate.