A massive data breach has exposed the personal and health information of almost nine million dental patients in the US. The breach was caused by a ransomware attack on MCNA Dental, one of the largest dental insurers in the country.
MCNA Dental provides dental and oral health care services to government-sponsored plans covering children and seniors. The company said it discovered unauthorized activity in its computer system on March 6, 2023, and later learned that a hacker had accessed and copied some of its data between February 26 and March 7, 2023.
The data stolen by the hacker included names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, health insurance details, dental records and billing information. Some of the data belonged to the parents, guardians or guarantors of the patients.
The hacker claimed to be from the LockBit ransomware group, a notorious cybercriminal organization that has targeted several high-profile victims in recent months. LockBit demanded a $10 million ransom from MCNA Dental and threatened to publish the stolen data online if the company did not pay.
MCNA Dental refused to pay the ransom and notified the affected individuals and law enforcement authorities about the breach. The company also offered 12 months of free identity theft protection and credit monitoring service to the impacted users through IDX.
However, on April 7, 2023, LockBit made good on its threat and leaked 700GB of data on its website, making it available for download by anyone. The leaked data contained sensitive information that could be used for identity theft, fraud or phishing.
“An apparent ransomware attack on one of America’s largest dental health insurers has compromised the personal information of almost nine million individuals in the United States.” – TechCrunch
“As the data is likely in the hands of other threat actors, all impacted users must monitor their credit reports for fraudulent activity and signs of identity theft. Furthermore, users should be careful of targeted phishing emails that use the leaked data to trick recipients into revealing further sensitive information” – Bleeping Computer
Ransomware attacks are a growing threat to businesses and organizations of all sizes and sectors. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the victim’s data and demands a payment for its decryption. If the ransom is not paid, the data may be deleted or published online.
Ransomware attackers often exploit vulnerabilities in software or systems, or use phishing emails or malicious attachments to infect their targets. To prevent ransomware attacks, experts recommend using strong passwords, updating software regularly, backing up data frequently and avoiding suspicious links or attachments.
– Ransomware attack on US dental insurance giant exposes data of 9 million patients, TechCrunch, May 31, 2023
– LockBit Ransomware Gang Steals Data From 8.9M Dental Insurance Customers, PCMag, May 30, 2023
– 9M Dental Patients Affected by LockBit Attack on MCNA, Dark Reading, May 30, 2023
– MCNA Dental data breach impacts 8.9 million people after ransomware attack, Bleeping Computer, May 29, 2023