Planned Parenthood Breach Opens Patients to Follow-On Attacks

Cyberattackers made off with addresses, insurance information, dates of birth, and most worryingly, clinical information, such as diagnosis, procedures, and/or prescription information.

Planned Parenthood’s Los Angeles (PPLA) division has been hacked, with cyberattackers making off with sensitive personal health information for at least 400,000 patients.

In a data-breach notice (PDF) filed with the state of California, the organization said that it had detected the intrusion on Oct. 17, when it took its systems offline. A subsequent investigation determined that the intruders had access to the network beginning on Oct. 9. During that time, they exfiltrated files containing addresses, insurance information, dates of birth and, most worryingly, clinical information, such as diagnosis, procedures and/or prescription information.

The clinical data is highly sensitive: Planned Parenthood offers a variety of sexual health services, including annual well-woman exams, birth control, cervical and testicular cancer screenings, prenatal care, sexual education, vasectomies, and abortions.

Planned Parenthood spokesperson John Erickson told the Washington Post that the attackers also installed ransomware, but he provided no information about whether the effort was successful in encrypting files or if the organization paid a ransom. Threatpost has reached out to PPLA for clarification.

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