First Nations Health Authority falls victim to cyberattack: Could your patient records be compromised? | Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper

First Nations Health Authority falls victim to cyberattack: Could your patient records be compromised?

The First Nations Health Authority has reported that they are investigating a cybersecurity incident. In a statement made May 22, FNHA said it became aware of unusual activity on its corporate network on May 13.

“We took immediate action to investigate this activity and intercepted an unauthorized entity who had gained access to our corporate network,” they stated.

FNHA went on to say that they immediately deployed countermeasures to block the unauthorized entity's access and prevent any further unauthorized activity.

The health authority’s systems house corporate, employee and client information. With the investigation still in its early stages, they’ve discovered evidence that “certain employee information and limited personal information of others has been impacted.”

“FNHA also immediately engaged third-party cybersecurity experts to assist with containment and remediation and to conduct a forensic investigation to determine the extent and scope of this incident,” according to the FNHA statement. “We have also reported this incident to law enforcement and to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia.”

The FNHA cyberattack is the latest in a series of recent cyber security incidents in the province of British Columbia, including the London Drugs cyberattacks discovered April 28. That breach forced the closure of about 80 London Drugs stores in Western Canada for just over a week, leaving some patients without access to their prescriptions.

In the London Drugs cyber attack, a foreign cybercriminal group claimed responsibility and demanded a $25 million ransom by May 23, or they would begin publishing the stolen information.

London Drugs has hired a third-party security company to protect its systems. Because private employee information may have been compromised, London Drugs stated that it has offered its current employees two years of credit monitoring and identity theft protection services.

On May 10 the provincial government announced that its systems revealed three separate sophisticated attempted attacks beginning in early April.

Shannon Salter, head of BC Public Service, said the province spends $25 million annually on security and works closely with federal partners.

Premier David Eby stated that the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and other agencies are investigating.

It is believed that the cyber attacks on FNHA and London Drugs are not related. In the case of London Drugs, a ransom was demanded. This was not the case for FNHA.

FNHA says it has taken and continues to take immediate action to issue required notifications to impacted individuals and to otherwise provide support.   

“FNHA has no evidence that this cyber incident has impacted any clinical information systems it uses,” according to their statement. “This ongoing investigation is the utmost priority for FNHA. We are working diligently, around the clock, to resolve this matter in a safe and secure manner.”

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