by Arianna Etemadieh
Article filed in
HealthEquity, Inc. suffers HIPAA email breach
by Arianna Etemadieh
On June 12, 2018, HealthEquity, Inc. submitted a HIPAA Email Breach to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Located in Draper, Utah, HealthEquity’s email breach affected 16,000 individuals’ protected health information.
HealthEquity is classified as a Business Associate.
According to this report:
The data breach was limited to one email account, although an analysis of the messages in the account revealed a range of PHI was potentially obtained by the attacker.
Information possibly compromised in the attack was limited to names, email addresses, HealthEquity member ID numbers, employer ID numbers, employer names, health account type, deduction amounts, and for some Michigan-based employees, Social Security numbers.
The breach was identified on April 13, 2018 and was discovered to have occurred two days previously, giving the attacker 48 hours to access messages in the account. Access to the compromised account was immediately terminated to prevent any further unauthorized access.
A third-party computer forensics firm was engaged to conduct a full investigation into the attack. The investigation confirmed that the breach was limited to a single email account and access was gained due to human error – the employee responding to a phishing message. No other systems were compromised or affected by the phishing attack.
While PHI access was possible, no evidence was uncovered to suggest the emails in the account were opened or PHI was obtained by the attacker, although out of an abundance of caution, all affected individuals have been offered complimentary credit monitoring and identity theft protection services through ID Experts.
HealthEquity Email Platform
We did an MX record lookup for HealthEquity and determined they are using Microsoft 365 as their email platform.
We have seen an alarming number of Microsoft 365 customers reporting HIPAA Email Breaches in 2018.
HHS Wall of Shame
The HHS Wall of Shame is a website under the jurisdiction of HHS that lists all HIPAA breaches reported within the last 24 months. The Wall of Shame displays breaches that are currently under investigation by the Office for Civil Rights.
As part of section 13402(e)(4) of the HITECH Act, the HHS Secretary must post a list of breaches of unsecured protected health information affecting 500 or more individuals.
HIPAA Breach Report
The Paubox HIPAA Breach Report analyzes breaches that affected 500 or more individuals as reported in the HHS Wall of Shame.