Patient sues Ascension after BlackBasta Ransomware attack

A woman, whose identity has been protected, is taking legal action against Ascension Seton, alleging negligence in safeguarding patient data from ransomware attackers. This individual, hailing from Hays County, was admitted to Ascension Seton Williamson Hospital in Round Rock in 2023.

Following the revelation of a data breach at Ascension, which emerged online on May 8th, 2024, the woman asserts that the hospital administration failed to adequately secure her information from unauthorized access. Seeking compensation and justice for herself and fellow patients affected by the breach, she has initiated legal proceedings against the healthcare provider.

The lawsuit filed against Ascension stems from its purported failure to encrypt patient data, leaving it vulnerable to infiltration by the Black Basta gang, perpetrators of the cyberattack. The plaintiff seeks substantial compensation for all individuals impacted by the breach.

Regarding the likely course and outcome of the lawsuit, current ransomware laws in the United States hold the company’s leadership accountable in cases of malware attacks resulting in file encryption. Ascension may face legal ramifications for its alleged failure to implement adequate security measures.

In a recent development, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that CEOs or technology heads could be subject to legal proceedings and potentially forced to relinquish their positions to undergo trial. Consequently, Ascension may encounter significant legal challenges in the coming weeks, possibly including testimony before governmental bodies such as the White House.

It’s important to note that succumbing to hackers’ ransom demands can also constitute a criminal offense, with Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) or Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) potentially facing legal repercussions.

Given Ascension’s extensive network of facilities, including over 15 hospitals and 230 care sites across states like Illinois and Chicago, the digital disruption resulting from the cyberattack has caused operational disturbances, with many ambulance-related calls being redirected to alternative healthcare providers.

 

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Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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