Cloud Tracker Pro

What's Up with the Change Healthcare Attack?


By: Mary Jander

A recent cyberattack on a major healthcare service provider in the U.S. has forced security vendors to look more closely at their technologies and how they might be improved with AI. It also has spotlighted how highly vulnerable the U.S. healthcare system remains to ransomware attacks.

On February 21, the systems of Change Healthcare, a subsidiary of the UnitedHealth Group, which provides health insurance and supports billing interactions for about 175 million people nationwide, went offline. The cause was a cyberattack later attributed to the ALPHV/Blackcat gang, a group linked to Russia that has been targeting U.S. healthcare systems for months. The group claimed to have maliciously harvested 6 Tbytes of personally identifiable information, including Social Security numbers and medical records, along with medical patent information and data on active military personnel.

While Change Healthcare said it is relying on input from Palo Alto Networks and Google Cloud’s Mandiant subsidiary to remediate the attack, its primary tactic was to take its systems entirely offline. This has affected pharmacies and hospitals across the country whose billing systems rely on Change Healthcare. Indeed, the situation is so dire that the American Hospital Association has reached out to Congress asking for help with the situation, which the AHA calls “the most significant cyberattack on the U.S. health care system in American history.”

According to a report cited in the HIPAA Journal, ransomware attacks on U.S. hospital systems nearly doubled in 2023, to 46 attacks up from 25 in 2022 and 27 in 2021. And last year’s attacks caused life-threatening disruptions at 141 hospitals.

To access the rest of this content, you need a Futuriom CLOUD TRACKER PRO subscription — see below.


Subscribe for Access
Activate your CLOUD TRACKER PRO Subscription,
$48/month or $500/year per individual
Click Here to Subscribe.

CLOUD TRACKER PRO Subscribers — Sign In
Subscribers please Click Here to Login.