Cyberattack on Nebraska Medicine and Hackley Community Care

Nebraska Medicine began informing roughly 219,000 patients regarding a malware attack that permitted an unauthorized person to access and get hold of patient data.

On September 20, 2020, Nebraska Medicine discovered strange activity in parts of its systems. The company isolated the affected devices to control the breach and shut down affected systems to stop further unauthorized access. Third-party computer forensics specialists were called in to perform an investigation and find out the nature and extent of the security breach.

According to the investigation, an unauthorized person first obtained access to the system on August 27, 2020 and infected it with malware. From August 27 to September 20, that person copied selected files, a number of which had patient data.

The files held the data of patients who went to The Nebraska Medical Center or University of Nebraska Medical Center for medical services. Some patients went to Faith Regional Health Services, Mary Lanning Healthcare or Great Plains Health.

The attackers obtained protected health information (PHI) that included at least one of these data elements: Name, birth date, address, medical record number, medical insurance data, doctor’s notes, lab test results, imaging, diagnosis data, treatment details, and/or prescription data. The driver’s license numbers and Social Security numbers of some patients were also included.

Nebraska Medicine sent notification to the impacted persons concerning the breach on February 5, 2021. The people whose Social Security or driver’s license number was affected also received free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services. The provider is still monitoring its IT environment for possible breaches. It also enhanced its network monitoring tools.

2,500 Hackley Community Care Patients Affected by Phishing Attack

Hackley Community Care based in Muskegon, MI is notifying around 2,500 patients regarding the exposure of some of their PHI to unauthorized persons.

In September 2020, several staff members received a phishing email with a hyperlink to a malicious site. One staff clicked the URL and typed in the login credentials that the attacker captured and used to get remote access to the email account of the employee from September 7 to September 24, 2020.

The breach investigation confirmed that just one email account was compromised and there is no proof found that suggests the opening of any emails in the account. An analysis of the breached email account was accomplished on December 18, 2020 and all people are currently being informed in case they were impacted.

For the majority of the impacted persons, the breach only affected the names and addresses. People who had more sensitive information compromised were provided free credit monitoring services via TransUnion. Hackley Community Care is enforcing more security measures to avoid the same occurrences later on.

About the Author

Elizabeth Hernandez
Elizabeth Hernandez is the editor of HIPAA News. Elizabeth is an experienced journalist who has worked in the healthcare sector for several years. Her expertise is not limited to general healthcare reporting but extends to specialized areas of healthcare compliance and HIPAA compliance. Elizabeth's knowledge in these areas has made her a reliable source for information on the complexities of healthcare regulations. Elizabeth's contribution to the field extends to helping readers understand the importance of patient privacy and secure handling of health information. Elizabeth holds a postgraduate degree in journalism. You can follow Elizabeth on twitter at