Banner Health cyberattack affects at least 3.7 million people

August 4, 2016 | By Garrett Montgomery More

A cyberattack on Banner Health has left at least 3.7 million people compromised. In an email, Banner Health has apologized to those affected and offered a free one-year membership in monitoring services for the inconvenience.

Banner Health cyberattack

A cyberattack on Banner Health is making headlines. This week, about 3.7 million people – patients, employees, and independent contractors received an unexpected email from Banner Health explaining that it suffered a major hacking.

The company based in Arizona is considered as one of the biggest non-profit health systems in the United States. More about the health care giant:

“The organization provides emergency care, hospital care, hospice, long-term/home care, outpatient surgery centers, labs, rehab services, pharmacies, and more recently has begun operating primary care physician clinics, which include Banner Arizona Medical Clinic and Banner Medical Group. In 2010, it reported assets of $6.4 billion and revenues of $4.9 billion. “

It owns and operates 29 hospitals in seven states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming) and employs more than 39,000 people in Arizona alone.

The 3.7 million people affected by the two hacks include patients, health plan members and beneficiaries, food and beverage customers, and physicians and health care providers. The non-profit health system said two cyberattacks hit it.

The first one occurred on July 7, and the criminals may have accessed computer systems that process payment-card data at food and beverage outlets at some Banner Health locations.

On July 13, Banner Health discovered that hackers also might have taken patient and health insurance records. Those records might have included names, birth dates, addresses, doctors’ names, dates of service, claims information, health insurance information, and Social Security numbers.

Banner Health apologized for the hacking and gave those affected one free one-year membership in monitoring services. Those impacted by the hacks need “to be vigilant to the possibility of fraud by reviewing their payment card statements for any unauthorized activity, and should immediately report any unauthorized charges.” According to the company:

“Payment cards used at food and beverage outlets at certain Banner Health locations between June 23 and July 7 may have been affected. The attackers targeted payment card data, including cardholder name, card number, expiration date and internal verification code as the data was being routed through affected payment processing systems.”

Bill Byron, Banner Health spokesman, said he believes it was a group of extremely sophisticated hackers, who caused the damage. He added that if customers have any questions, they can call 855-223-4412.

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