Cyber Chaos: Feds Probe Change Healthcare Hack as BlackCat Bails with Millions

When hackers play “keep the data,” Change Healthcare coughs up $22M, but the US government’s not laughing—HIPAA watchdogs sniff out a breach.

Hot Take:

When they said “Change Healthcare,” I bet they didn’t mean “give all our data to cybercriminals,” but here we are! The US government has pulled up its digital sleeves to dive into the cyber mess that’s got patient data swimming in murky waters. Meanwhile, BlackCat’s playing cat and mouse with affiliates and millions in ransom, opting for an early retirement. It’s like a soap opera over there, but with more encryption and less amnesia plotlines.

Key Points:

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is investigating the Change Healthcare cyberattack for potential HIPAA violations.
  • Change Healthcare, now part of Optum, announced “some applications are currently unavailable” due to the cyberattack.
  • The attack has caused ripples across the healthcare industry, affecting pharmacies and patient services nationwide.
  • BlackCat ransomware group allegedly received a $22 million ransom but pulled a “rugpull” on their affiliate, halting operations and disappearing with the cash.
  • The affiliate claims to be left holding the bag (or rather, 4TB of sensitive data) while BlackCat is off the grid.

Need to know more?

A Prescription for Chaos

Imagine a world where your local pharmacy is as confused as a chameleon in a bag of Skittles. That's what happened when Change Healthcare, a key player in the prescription game, got hit by a cyber shenanigan. Pharmacies were left scratching their heads, unable to process insurance for medicines. It's like someone unplugged the internet and everyone's modem is blinking red.

The Healthcare Web Tangles

As if the healthcare system wasn't already as complex as a Rubik's Cube in a blender, this cyberattack has tangled it up even more. Recovery timelines are floating around like lifelines, with hopes to get the payments platform back by mid-March. OCR's head honcho, Melanie Fontes Rainer, is on the case, promising to unravel the knots to see if any HIPAA lines were crossed.

BlackCat's Nine Lives Are Up

The notorious ransomware group BlackCat must have decided that discretion is the better part of valor because they've vanished into thin air, possibly with a hefty $22 million in their kitty. They've left behind an angry affiliate who's got enough sensitive data to start a very illegal version of WebMD. Talk about trust issues in the underworld!

The Plot Thickens and the Data Thins

With BlackCat out of the picture, it's anyone's guess where that 4TB of data is going to land. It's like a hot potato nobody wants to be caught holding. Will the affiliate leak it, sell it, or start a new life as a data hoarder? Stay tuned as the government plays detective in this high-stakes game of cyber Clue.

Don't Miss Out on Your Cybersecurity Soap Opera Subscription

For those who can't get enough of this digital drama, TechRadar Pro is the place to be. They've got all the juicy updates on the cyber soap opera that is the Change Healthcare heist. After all, who needs television when you've got ransomware tales that could make your smart fridge shudder? So, sign up for that newsletter, and keep your finger on the pulse—just maybe not the one that's been hacked.

And a little shoutout to Sead, the scribe from Sarajevo, who's been keeping tabs on this tech tragedy. He's been in the game longer than some of these cybercriminals have been out of diapers. He's seen things, like keyboards without letters and mice with actual balls. So when he writes about clouds, IoT, and ransomware, you know it comes with a certain gravitas... and maybe a shot of Balkan espresso.

Tags: BlackCat ransomware, Health Tech Security, healthcare cyberattack, Healthcare Data Breach, HIPAA Compliance, Protected Health Information, ransomware attack