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Watch here: N.L. patient, employee data stolen in health-care cyberattack

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Hackers were able to steal personal information connected to both patients and employees in the Eastern Health and Labrador-Grenfell Health regions of Newfoundland and Labrador’s health-care system as part of a recent cyberattack, according to officials.

The information was accessed through the province’s Meditech data repository, which includes a patient information database as well as core communication tools like email.

According to government officials, the breach includes basic information collected when a patient registers for an appointment — including names, birthdays, addresses, MCP numbers, the person’s family doctor, marital status and in and out-patient times.

The attackers were also able to access information connected to employees — Eastern Health employees who worked within about the last 14 years, and Labrador-Grenfell Health employees from about the last nine years.

That breached information includes names, addresses, contact information and social insurance numbers.

The province said there is no evidence the information gained during the attack has been misused.

Officials say they believe no information was accessed in the Western Health region of the province, while an investigation in the Central Health region continues.

The government says the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has been contacted on the matter, along with the Canadian Centre for Cybersecurity.

They’re also pointing to a public notification process also underway, which will include what steps people can take to protect their information, like monitoring banking and financial information for unusual activity.

The update comes 10 days after the cyberattack shut down health-care services across the province.

Emergency services have continued throughout, and chemotherapy and radiation treatments have resumed across the province. Appointment scheduling and rebooking services are still affected.

The government has not acknowledged whether or not the attack was ransomware.

Ransomware attacks involve malicious software that accesses and prevents the use of critical computer files followed by a demand for payment to restore those files. 

Meanwhile, the province’s COVID-19 travel form and self assessment tool have been restored and can now be accessed online.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador



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