Very weird occurrence the other day, checked the post office box and found a letter regarding my son’s protected health information (PHI) had been improperly accessed in an Asante employee breach that started in 2014. Shortly there after upon returning home, found an email from Yahoo stating that they had been hacked back in 2014 and had just now finished their investigation which could have effected my wife’s personal email. Seems a strange coincidence that both firms had this happen two years ago and it took both firms two years to notice / do the investigation piece to rectify the situation. Here are some quotes from their responses:
Asante Employee Breach
“While Asante cannot provide details regarding the outcome of this internal investigation, we can assure you that we applied our employment policies and processes appropriately. A final audit of the employee’s actions showed that the employee inappropriately accessed records from August 18, 2014 to July 21, 2016 that may have included your child’s name, date of birth, medical records number, medications, diagnosis, and lab results… To date, we have no evidence that any patient information has been misused, nor do we have any reason to believe that the information will be misused. However, as a precaution, we wanted to notify you regarding this incident and assure you that we take it very seriously.”
“A copy of certain user account information was stolen from our systems in late 2014 by what we believe is a state-sponsored actor… The stolen user account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.”
So these two things were not related but it is scary to think that it took two years to notice this activity. Even if Asante believes that the employee didn’t do anything malicious with the information, it shows that their information access policies and audit logging on them is severely lacking. They need to step up their game and possibly adopt some behavioral based analysis of the audit logs for inappropriate access like this in the future.
As for Yahoo, why are some of the security questions unencrypted while others were and were the passwords just hashed? If a state-sponsored actor had unsalted password hashes for two years before being detected then the likelihood of them being able to crack the passwords is extremely high. They also state that they are working closely with law enforcement on this one, but what is law enforcement going to do against another government’s hacking crew (aka state-sponsored actor)?
If your company is unsure of its information security posture or needs an evaluation of audit logging / reporting, then contact us for assistance.