One Million US Dental Patients Impacted by Data Breach

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An American healthcare provider has started notifying more than a million patients that their data may have been exposed as the result of a cyber-attack.

Dental Care Alliance discovered on October 11 that it had been the victim of a hack that began on September 18, 2020. The company, which is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, was able to contain the attack by October 13.

Patient data that may have been accessed in the security incident included names, addresses, dental diagnosis and treatment information, patient account numbers, billing information, bank account numbers, the name of the patient's dentist, and health insurance information. 

Dave Quigley, general counsel for DCA, told that the breach had been reported to all relevant regulatory bodies and that DCA had notified all 1,004,304 people affected by the incident via letter in November. 

Explaining why no remediation services such as credit monitoring had been offered to patients impacted by the breach, Quigley said: "We have seen no specific evidence that personal information was used for malicious purposes." 

He added: "We will continue to do all that is necessary and appropriate to support and inform impacted individuals in the days ahead."

A review of what data the attackers were able to access concluded that bank account numbers belonging to only 10% of the individuals impacted by the hack were visible to an unauthorized third party. 

Dental Care Alliance is a dental support organization with more than 320 affiliated dental practices across 20 states. The LLC was established in 1991 by Dr. Steven Matzkin and currently works with more than 700 dentists. 

The incident comes 10 months after a ransomware attack on Colorado information technology company Complete Technology Solutions (CTS) impacted about 100 dental practices in the United States, leaving staff unable to access patient records and treatment schedules.

Practices in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Nevada were impacted by the incident, including the Pediatric Dental Specialists of Greater Nebraska. 

Co-owner Dr. Jessica Meeske, describing the effect of the attack on the practice, told the American Dental Association: "You are absolutely paralyzed in the same way as if you lost your location physically."

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