HomeMalware & ThreatsPatient files lawsuit against Ascension following BlackBasta Ransomware attack

Patient files lawsuit against Ascension following BlackBasta Ransomware attack

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A lawsuit has been filed against Ascension Seton by a woman from Hays County, Texas, who accuses the healthcare provider of negligence in protecting patient data from ransomware attackers. The incident dates back to 2023 when the woman was admitted to Ascension Seton Williamson Hospital in Round Rock. Following reports of a data breach at Ascension that surfaced online on May 8th, 2024, the woman claims that the hospital failed to adequately secure her information from unauthorized access, leading her to seek compensation and justice alongside other affected patients through legal action.

The core of the lawsuit against Ascension revolves around the allegation that the company neglected to encrypt patient data, making it susceptible to infiltration by the Black Basta gang, the culprits behind the cyberattack. The plaintiff is pursuing significant compensation on behalf of all individuals impacted by the breach. Furthermore, in the context of ransomware laws in the United States, company leadership can be held responsible for malware attacks that result in file encryption, potentially leading to legal consequences for Ascension due to its perceived lack of sufficient security measures.

Recent announcements from the U.S. Department of Justice indicate that CEOs or technology heads could face legal action and potential removal from their positions to stand trial in such cases. This raises the possibility of significant legal hurdles for Ascension in the near future, potentially involving appearances before governmental bodies like the White House. It should be noted that giving in to hackers’ ransom demands may also be considered a criminal offense, with CTOs or CFOs possibly facing legal repercussions.

The impact of the cyberattack on Ascension’s widespread network of healthcare facilities, spanning multiple states such as Illinois and Chicago with over 15 hospitals and 230 care sites, has been substantial. The disruption in digital operations has led to operational disturbances, with numerous ambulance-related calls being rerouted to alternative healthcare providers as a result of the breach.

As the legal battle against Ascension unfolds, the implications of this case will likely reverberate throughout the healthcare industry, underscoring the pressing need for robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard patient data and avert future cyber threats. The outcome of this lawsuit will not only determine the accountability of healthcare providers in safeguarding sensitive information but also serve as a precedent for addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the increasingly digitized healthcare landscape.

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