Hackers get patients’ PHI after inflicting malware on Florida hospital’s computer network

hit by a malware attack in November that exposed patients’ protected health information, the Doral, Fla.-based hospital announced Jan. 8.

The hospital discovered Nov. 8 that portions of its computer network were infected with malware. Leon Medical Centers took its systems offline immediately after discovering the cyberattack, according to the news release.

LMC’s investigation revealed that hackers accessed patients’ information including names, Social Security numbers, financial details, Medicaid numbers and health insurance details.

The hospital is still identifying affected individuals and said it will mail written notification letters as soon as possible.

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Florida launches investigation into hacking of its servers

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida officials acknowledged Friday that state servers appear to have been compromised by overseas hackers who gained entry by imbedding malicious code into networking software from a Texas-based software company, SolarWinds.

Two Florida officials who have knowledge of the matter but spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about it said the hackers apparently infiltrated systems of the Agency for Healthcare Administration, which runs the state’s Medicaid program, and other agencies.

It was unclear what information the hackers may have taken, the officials said.

“We will continue to review and monitor the situation,” the Florida Department of Management Services said in a statement to The Associated Press late Friday. “Florida, like many states, continues to coordinate with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and additional federal, state, and local partners on all matters related to cybersecurity.”

Software from SolarWinds has been at the center of global worries over a spate of hackings into computer systems operated by government agencies and major companies. The intruders apparently exploited vulnerabilities in the company’s software.

SolarWinds had begun alerting 33,000 of its customers that an “outside nation state” — widely suspected to be Russia — had inserted malicious code into some versions of its Orion software. The software helps network administrators monitor the performance of their servers and systems.

The Florida officials were not prepared to discuss how serious the breach might have been amid conflicting statements and information from some companies involved in investigating the breach.

The officials said they were still trying to understand to what extent their systems were penetrated, whether any data was harvested and, if so, for what purpose.

Outside meddling has been an especially sensitive issue in Florida because of previous breaches by Russian hackers.

Last year, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered his secretary of state to launch a review of election security after revelations that Russian hackers infiltrated election systems in…


Gov. Walz Combats False Reports That He Spent Thanksgiving Weekend In Florida, Has $400M Net Worth – WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After a long weekend in which Gov. Tim Walz begged Minnesotans not to travel, some may have been surprised by some online reports.

Social media was filled with news that while protestors demonstrated against restrictions this weekend at his residence, Walz was vacationing in Florida.

Another widely-shared story is that Walz, who talks often of his and his wife’s careers as public school teachers, is suddenly a wealthy man, worth $400 million.

Walz says both the trip and his alleged wealth are definitely not true.

“I have not left the state since March, since [the pandemic] happened,” Walz said. “The thing I most worry about though is if you are willing to believe those types of things without any proof, you’re probably not going to listen to me when I tell you to wear a mask.”

The governor’s staff at first brushed off the comments, but then the volume increased, and the public began calling the governor’s office to complain about the imaginary Florida trip.

Mark Lanterman, a former cyber security investigator for the United States Secret Service, now runs the cybersecurity firm Computer Forensics Services.

“We need to remember that just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true,” Lanterman said.

He says it’s important to remember websites, like the one that’s disseminating false information about Walz’s net worth, may also be making money.

“Many organizations with web pages get paid based on the number of clicks that are driven to their webpage, whether that’s a quarter cent or half a cent, it all depends,” Lanterman said.

The governor and Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm say this latest spread of fake news, like the virus, is weaving its way into people lives, creating an alternate reality that can also be deadly.

“It’s deeper than that because it goes to undermining the policies,” Walz said.

“People saying, ‘Well don’t bother to get tested because the state is cooking the numbers,’” Malcolm said. “That’s horribly dangerous.”

The governor’s office says they do not know where, or who, originated the reports. Lanterman says the origin of internet fake news stories…


Florida man charged with hacking into voter database and changing DeSantis’ home address

Anthony Steven Guevara, 20, also accessed the voter registrations of U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and basketball legend Michael Jordan, according to a statement from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, but did not make any changes.