New Zealand-based healthcare-providing group Pinnacle Midlands Health Network was hit by a cyberattack on September 28. The attack impacted the IT services, including the systems of Pinnacle group regional offices and primary health care ltd (PHCL).
As per reports, the breach affected the services in facilities across Taranaki, Rotorua, Taupō-Tūrangi, Thames-Coromandel, and Waikato. Although the data breach’s full impact is unknown, reports suggest cybercriminals may have exfiltrated commercial and personal details. Justin Butcher, CEO of Pinnacle Incorporated, assured that the affected individuals would be notified and provided the necessary support.
The existing patients and their families have been asked to be vigilant of any spammy emails or communications they may receive henceforward. Pinnacle Midlands Health Network has also made a freephone support line available for people to have their questions answered.
The staff of the Pinnacle Midlands Health Network are cooperating with the police after the complaint was lodged. The organization has also hired external support partners to dig deeper into the case with their help. Government agencies, including Te Whatu Ora, are also investigating the incident.
Following the incident, New Zealand health minister Andrew Little affirmed that he was aware of the incident and urged the concerned departments to be upfront about the extent of the data breach so the people know its impact. The country’s health body Te Whatu Ora also confirmed that they were looking into the incident and working to support in every way possible. The authorities of Te Whatu Ora also clarified that systems connected to their networks were not impacted.
Services still accessible
Even though the systems were affected, practices are still providing services that patients and users can use. However, the response time in making inquiries is delayed. Pinnacle Midlands Health Network has over 450,000 patients seeking medical help in over 80 GP centers in the central North Island.