Arkansas surgery center reports 128k patients impacted by ransomware

Fayetteville-based Arkansas Oral & Facial Surgery Center notified patients of a recent ransomware attack on its computer network, according to a Sept. 24 notice on its website.

Arkansas Oral & Facial Surgery Center officials on July 26 discovered its computer network was infected by ransomware. An investigation revealed an unauthorized individual installed ransomware on the center's network that morning or the preceding evening.

The ransomware blocked officials' access to imaging files and patient data related to visits from three weeks prior. Arkansas Oral & Facial Surgery Center reported 128,000 individuals were impacted by the ransomware attack, according to a Sept. 24 submission to the HHS Office for Civil Rights breach portal.

Officials said there is no evidence of stolen patient information. However, affected files included some patient names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers, among other data. "We believe that the motivation behind this incident was extortion, and not the theft of patient information," the notice reads.

Since the incident, Arkansas Oral & Facial Surgery Center officials have implemented a new record system. Officials also offered affected patients one year of free credit monitoring services and established a dedicated telephone line to address patient questions.

Editor's note: Becker's Hospital Review reached out to Arkansas Oral & Facial Surgery Center for comment and will update as more information becomes available.

More articles on cybersecurity:
Cybercrime costs healthcare companies $12.5M per year, report finds
McAffee: Healthcare accounts for 26% of North American cybersecurity incidents in Q2
59% of hackers agree phishing is most effective way to extract data, survey finds

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