Quick action by Urology Austin thwarts ransomware attack

Register now

Hackers unleashed a ransomware attack on Urology Austin, a specialty provider that operates 13 sites serving Round Rock and Austin.

While the attack was thwarted and Urology Austin regained access to its systems, it could not be determined whether patient information was accessed by the hackers. As a result, the organization is offering a year of credit and identity protection services to 279,663 patients.

The attack occurred on January 22. In an informational notice released to the media, the practice said it was aware of the attack within minutes, shut down the network and began data and operational restoration.

The practice told the local NBC television affiliate that no ransom was paid to regain data. Compromised data included patients’ names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and medical information.

Also See: HIMSS guidance examines new malware, ransom approaches

Notification letters have been sent to patients, giving them detailed information on steps to take to protect personal information.

“We take the security of our patients’ information very seriously and we have taken steps to prevent a similar event from occurring in the future, including strengthening our security measures and ensuring that our networks and systems are now secure,” according to a statement from the practice. “The privacy and protection of patient information is a top priority, and we deeply regret any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause.”

A spokesperson for Urology Austin did not respond to inquiries for further information.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.