Change Healthcare faces one other ransomware menace—and it seems credible

Medical Data Breach text write on keyboard isolated on laptop background

For months, Change Healthcare has confronted an immensely messy ransomware debacle that has left lots of of pharmacies and medical practices throughout the US unable to course of claims. Now, due to an obvious dispute inside the ransomware legal ecosystem, it could have simply turn into far messier nonetheless.

In March, the ransomware group AlphV, which had claimed credit score for encrypting Change Healthcare’s community and threatened to leak reams of the corporate’s delicate well being care information, obtained a $22 million cost—proof, publicly captured on bitcoin’s blockchain, that Change Healthcare had very probably caved to its tormentors’ ransom demand, although the corporate has but to verify that it paid. However in a brand new definition of a worst-case ransomware, a completely different ransomware group claims to be holding Change Healthcare’s stolen information and is demanding a cost of their very own.

Since Monday, RansomHub, a comparatively new ransomware group, has posted to its dark-web web site that it has 4 terabytes of Change Healthcare’s stolen information, which it threatened to promote to the “highest bidder” if Change Healthcare didn’t pay an unspecified ransom. RansomHub tells WIRED it isn’t affiliated with AlphV and “can’t say” how a lot it’s demanding as a ransom cost.

RansomHub initially declined to publish or present WIRED any pattern information from that stolen trove to show its declare. However on Friday, a consultant for the group despatched WIRED a number of screenshots of what seemed to be affected person data and a data-sharing contract for United Healthcare, which owns Change Healthcare, and Emdeon, which acquired Change Healthcare in 2014 and later took its identify.

Whereas WIRED couldn’t absolutely verify RansomHub’s claims, the samples recommend that this second extortion try towards Change Healthcare could also be greater than an empty menace. “For anybody doubting that we’ve the information, and to anybody speculating the criticality and the sensitivity of the information, the pictures ought to be sufficient to indicate the magnitude and significance of the scenario and clear the unrealistic and infantile theories,” the RansomHub contact tells WIRED in an electronic mail.

Change Healthcare didn’t instantly reply to WIRED’s request for touch upon RansomHub’s extortion demand.

Brett Callow, a ransomware analyst with safety agency Emsisoft, says he believes AlphV didn’t initially publish any information from the incident, and the origin of RansomHub’s information is unclear. “I clearly do not know whether or not the information is actual—it may have been pulled from elsewhere—however nor do I see something that signifies it might not be genuine,” he says of the information shared by RansomHub.

Jon DiMaggio, chief safety strategist at menace intelligence agency Analyst1, says he believes RansomHub is “telling the reality and does have Change HealthCare’s information,” after reviewing the knowledge despatched to WIRED. Whereas RansomHub is a brand new ransomware menace actor, DiMaggio says, they’re rapidly “gaining momentum.”

If RansomHub’s claims are actual, it’s going to imply that Change Healthcare’s already catastrophic ransomware ordeal has turn into a type of cautionary story in regards to the risks of trusting ransomware teams to observe by way of on their guarantees, even after a ransom is paid. In March, somebody who goes by the identify “notchy” posted to a Russian cybercriminal discussion board that AlphV had pocketed that $22 million cost and disappeared with out sharing a fee with the “affiliate” hackers who usually accomplice with ransomware teams and infrequently penetrate victims’ networks on their behalf.

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