Banner Health hack leads to 10 civil lawsuits

After suffering the year's largest data breach of a U.S. health provider, Phoenix, Ariz.-based Banner Health was hit with at least 10 civil lawsuits from a physician and patients who claim to have been negatively affected by the data breach, according to AZ Central.

In total, ten lawsuits have been filed in Maricopa County Superior Court or the U.S. District Court in Phoenix after Banner Health disclosed the data breach Aug. 3. The lawsuits reportedly allege the non-profit health system failed to protect patient information and allowed hackers to create fraudulent credit card accounts in patients' names due to the breach. The majority of the individual lawsuits have been compiled into a single case to be presented before U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, according to the article. The date for the case has yet to be determined.

While Banner Health officials have not publicly discussed the breach since it notified the 3.7 million affected individuals, some IT security experts believe the health system did a poor job assessing and handling the situation. In addition to disclosing the hack to media outlets and select regulatory agencies, the health system mailed notices to individuals that may have been affected and offered them one year of free credit and fraud monitoring services.

Banner Health officials revealed hackers gained access to the system's point-of-sale system for its food service locations. Officials said hackers may have also gained access to its computer system for health plan members and patients and compromised their information.

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