Data Breach at French Healthcare Payment Processor Puts 20 Million Policyholders at Risk

Healthcare Ransomware AttacksA single account being phished caused millions of French healthcare policyholder records to be breached.

I’ve said it before… it only takes one phish. And in the case of French payment processor, Malakoff Humanis, a single click enabled a cyber attack was the catalyst for a data breach that occurred earlier this month, according to their post on LinkedIn (press See Translation for a localized version of the post).

Malakoff Humanis manages the third-party payment of 84 health insurance companies, totaling 20 million healthcare policyholders. The data stolen included the following details for each record:

  • Beneficiary's marital status
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Name of health insurer
  • Guarantees open to third-party payment

While no other details were stolen, having a name, birthdate, and social security number alone would allow cybercriminals to attempt to defraud the French government social security program with banking and mailing address updates.

In an interview with Humanis’ general director, Christophe Candé, it was indicated that the exact number of records was unknown — putting all 20 million potentially at risk. Additionally, when asked about whether this was a ransomware attack, Candé stated, “a healthcare professional’s account was phished.”

Phishing continues to be one of the easiest ways for cyber attacks to start. Those organizations that continually use new-school security awareness training are the ones minimizing the risk that such phishing attacks are successful, thereby minimizing the likelihood of a successful attack.

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