Florida provider sues Amazon Web Services for hosting stolen patient, employee health data

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Fort Myers, Fla.-based SalusCare filed a lawsuit March 24 against Amazon Web Services claiming that the cloud storage company is hosting healthcare data allegedly stolen from SalusCare in a cyberattack earlier in March, Fort Myers News-Press reports. 

SalusCare claimed its database was targeted in a malware attack the week of March 15, which let hackers download the medical practice's entire database to a cloud-based storage account managed by AWS, SalusCare's attorney told the publication. Amazon has since frozen access to the storage account, according to the report. 

As many as 85,688 patient and employee records were copied and potentially accessed as a result of the malware attack. As of March 25, it was unknown how many records were actually accessed from Amazon's storage site, but the files contained personal and sensitive records of patients' psychiatric and addiction counseling treatments as well as financial data including Social Security numbers and credit card numbers. 

SalusCare filed the lawsuit to compel Amazon to give it access to any audit logs that show what data had been accessed from its storage site and to block hackers' access to the data. A U.S. District Court judge in Fort Myers granted the requests March 25, according to the report. 

Amazon did not respond to the publication's request for comment. In a statement apologizing to its patients for the incident, SalusCare said: "Know that our response was swift and, based on observations to date, we are optimistic that the most serious damage was avoided and the breach contained." 

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