Ransomware Attack on Puerto Rico Hospital Affects Almost 1.2 Million Patients

By | November 23, 2022

Doctors’ Center Hospital in Puerto Rico has recently notified the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) that it has experienced a hacking/IT incident in which the protected health information of 1,195,220 patients has potentially been compromised.

As of November 23, 2022, there is no notification on the hospital’s website so details of the nature of the attack have yet to be made public by Doctors’ Center Hospital, with all current indicators suggesting this was a recent attack, and one which the hospital is likely still attempting to recover from.

Databreaches.net investigated and identified an entry on the data leak site of a relatively unknown ransomware group called Project Relic, which has claimed responsibility for the attack. The Project Relic dark web data leak site indicates 211 GB of data was exfiltrated in the attack, of which 114 MB has been leaked online.

Blackpoint’s Adversary Pursuit Group has written a report on the group, which it claims is a new ransomware group that was unknown a month ago but has conducted multiple attacks. The group is only believed to have started operating in October 2022. According to Blackpoint, the ransomware is written in Go due to its portability, speed, and the minimal chance of it being detected by static analysis. The group is known to engage with victims via a custom chat application on the Tor network to negotiate ransoms and the group publishes stolen data if the ransom is not paid in a timely manner.

In an attack on one of Blackpoint’s partners, the gang claimed to have exfiltrated 400 GB of data and issued a ransom demand of 100 BTC, which is approximately $1,638,800. Blackpoint analyzed the ransomware, but has been unable to determine at this stage how access to victims’ networks is gained.

This post will be updated when further information becomes available.

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