Health

Pinnacle hackers leak patient info, data on the web

Pinnacle Midlands Health Network has confirmed a data leak following its report of an IT breach on 28 September.

In an update on 9 October, the network said malicious actors have uploaded to the internet information and data “related to past and present patients and customers” of the Pinnacle group in Waikato, Lakes, Taranaki and Tairāwhiti districts, including GP practices under Primary Health Care.

Pinnacle CEO Justin Butcher said that “much of the information and data that was stolen last week has been made public.”

“While Pinnacle does not hold GP notes and consultation records, we now have a much clearer understanding of the breadth of stolen data. This includes high-level data related to the use of hospital services, claiming information related to services that Pinnacle provides, and information sent to practices around immunisation and screening status of individual patients,” he explained.

“This is extremely unfortunate, and we are gutted as this impacts our whānau also. Cyber incidents like this are a constant threat, and while they are the doing of malicious actors, we feel for everyone who may have been affected,” the network’s official added.

Pinnacle said they are in contact with the police and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

THE LARGER CONTEXT

Two weeks ago, Pinnacle immediately took its IT system offline upon identifying a breach.

In a statement, Te Whatu Ora, which is assisting in the investigations, maintained that the cyberattack is “no indication of a threat to Te Whatu Ora networks” as its system is separate from Pinnacle. 

Meanwhile, the network, which serves about 450,000 patients in 87 practices, has tapped IDCare for people specialist support to individuals who are believed to be at high risk due to the exposure of their information.

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