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UnitedHealth says Change hackers stole health data on 'substantial proportion of people in America' | TechCrunch

UnitedHealth says Change hackers stole health data on 'substantial proportion of people in America' | TechCrunch

The health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group has confirmed that a ransomware attack on its health tech subsidiary Change Healthcare earlier this year resulted in a massive theft of Americans' private healthcare data.

UnitedHealth said In a statement on Monday That a ransomware gang took files containing personal data and protected health information that it said “could cover a substantial proportion of people in the United States.”

The health insurer did not say how many Americans were affected but said a review of the data “could take several months” before the company begins notifying individuals that their information was stolen in a cyber attack.

transform healthcare processes insurance and billing for thousands of hospitals, pharmacies and medical practices in the US healthcare sector; It has access to massive amounts of health information on nearly half of all Americans.

UnitedHealth said it has not yet seen evidence that doctors' charts or complete medical histories have been removed from its systems.

The admission that hackers have stolen Americans' health data comes a week after a new hacking group. Some parts of the stolen data started to be published In an attempt to make another ransom demand from the company.

The gang, which calls itself Ransom Hub, published several files on its dark web leak site containing personal information about patients, including some internal files related to Change Healthcare. RansomHub said it will sell the stolen data until Change Healthcare pays the ransom.

RansomHub is the second group to demand a ransom from Change Healthcare. The health-tech company reportedly paid $22 million in March to a Russian-based criminal gang called ALPHV, which then disappeared, and stiffed associates who stole the data for their share of the ransom. was

“We own the data and not ALPHV,” RansomHub claimed in its post with the published stolen data.

In its statement Monday, UnitedHealth acknowledged the release of some of the files but stopped short of claiming ownership of the documents. “This is not an official notification of a breach,” UnitedHealth said.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that ALPHV, a criminal hacking affiliate, breached Change Healthcare's network. Using stolen credentials for the system which allows remote access to its network. The hackers were in Change Healthcare's network for more than a week before deploying the ransomware, allowing the hackers to steal significant amounts of data from the company's systems.

The cyber attack on Change Healthcare began on February 21 and resulted in Widespread closure of pharmacies and hospitals across the US. For weeks, physicians, pharmacies and hospitals could not verify patient benefits to dispense drugs, manage inpatient care, or process prior authorizations necessary for surgeries.

Much of the U.S. health care system has ground to a halt, with health care providers facing financial pressure as backlogs grow and shutdowns continue.

UnitedHealth reported last week that a ransomware attack cost it more than $870 million. The company reported that it earned $99.8 billion in revenue during the first three months of the year, better than Wall Street analysts expected.

UnitedHealth CEO Andrew Witty, who received total compensation of nearly $21 million through 2022, Testify to House lawmakers on May 1..

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