South Florida-based hospital system Broward Health on Sunday confirmed that its patient database was breached by a hacker in October, putting patient Social Security numbers, date of birth, medical information, and bank information at risk.
On Oct. 15th, 2021, an intruder gained entry to the Broward Health network through the office of a third-party medical provider, according to the hospital network. Broward Health discovered the intrusion on Oct. 19th, 2021, and contained the incident. Broward Health worked in collaboration with the FBI and Department of Justice once the breach was located and identified, though no known suspect has been identified as of Monday morning.
“We are providing notice of a data incident that may affect the security of some information relating to a segment of our employee and patient population,” the company said in a press statement. “Although we have no evidence that your personal information has been misused, we are making you aware of the incident so that you may take any necessary precautions.”
As a result of the attack, Broward Health mandated a password reset for all systemwide employee online accounts while also adding enhanced security measures such as two-factor authentication and back-end reinforcement.
The health provider claims that the Department of Justice instructed it to delay the announcement of the data breach until now so as to not compromise the ongoing investigation by the agency. Broward Health maintains that there is no evidence of patient information being misused or for the purpose of medical identity theft.
Broward Health was contacted to provide further comment on the incident, but the request was not immediately responded to.
Broward Health hosted Governor Ron DeSantis Monday morning for a press conference, where he announced the planned opening of additional COVID-19 testing sites across the state and further addressed concerns regarding high transmission rates of the Omicron COVID variant.