Banner Health hit with massive cyber attack; Some Wyomingites affected

A cyber attack against Banner Health, which currently operates several Wyoming facilities in addition to locations across the west, and personal information from patients might have been compromised.

Banner has the Community Hospital in Torrington, Washakie Medical Center in Worland, Banner Health Clinic in Greybull, and the now closed Banner Health Clinic in Meeteetse. Up to 3.7 million individuals across the country might be affected.

According to Banner, the company has discovered that a cyber attack was launched against them on June 17, 2016. The system affected stored data related to payment processing at certain Banner Health food and beverage outlets. An investigation was launched with a forensics and law enforcement team.

"The information may have included patients’ names, birthdates, addresses, physicians’ names, dates of service, clinical information, possibly health insurance information, and social security numbers if one was provided to Banner Health," the company states. "Patients’ medical care will not be affected."

Letters to affected patients are in the mail as of yesterday.

"We also recommend that patients review the explanation of benefits statements that they receive from their health insurer. If they see services that they did not receive, please contact the insurer immediately."

The attackers targeted payment card data at food and beverage outlets around the country. The Torrington location is the only Wyoming locale to be noted as targeted. Payments made there between June 23 and July 7, 2016, were affected. Banner recommends those potentially affected to review their credit card statements and report to the card company any unauthorized charges.

"We worked quickly to block the attackers and enhance the security of our systems in order to help prevent this from happening in the future," Banner states. "We are also working with the payment card networks so that the banks that issue payment cards can be made aware and initiate heightened monitoring on the affected cards. Please be assured that you can confidently use payment cards at Banner Health food and beverage outlets."

Providers' names, addresses, DEA numbers, Tax ID numbers, National Provider Identifiers numbers and social security numbers might have been accessed.

Additional information about the attack can be found here.

photo of Banner CEO & President Peter S. Fine h/t Banner Health

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