Network Hack Shuts Down LabCorp

Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 01:07 PM gHale

North Carolina-based LabCorp Diagnostics, one of the largest clinical laboratories in the U.S., was forced to shut down its network Sunday after hackers were able to get in.

Over the weekend of July 14, hackers got into LabCorp’s network. Company officials immediately took certain systems offline as part of its breach response policy to contain the hack. As a result, test processing and customer access to test results was temporarily impacted.

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LabCorp services more than 115 million patient encounters annually, which potentially put all of those patient records at risk if they were located on the impacted network. LabCorp did not respond to a request for comment.

The company restored full system functionality, with test result services “substantially resuming” Monday. Additional systems and functions will end up restored throughout the week.

“Some customers of LabCorp Diagnostics may experience brief delays in receiving results as we complete that process,” officials said.

The suspicious activity was only detected on LabCorp systems not Covance Drug Development, which the company bought for $6.1 billion in 2014. The company has also notified relevant authorities of the cyberattack.

“The LabCorp data breach is yet another heavy blow in the continued assault on healthcare,” said Pravin Kothari, chief executive of cybersecurity solution provider CipherCloud. “Consider that LabCorp is one of the largest diagnostic laboratories in the world, and, as you may not be aware, is a very critical part of U.S. healthcare infrastructure. They have hundreds of networked labs across the United States and all of them are likely interconnected centrally with LabCorp headquarters. This may be one of the largest healthcare networks in the world with connections to many thousands of physician offices, hospitals and their testing facility offices worldwide.

“LabCorp made the wise decision to shut down their entire network while determining the extent of the breach. Taking this preventive action may be warranted especially if they are shutting down to stop the propagation of a targeted ransomware attack and the possible destruction of patient laboratory data.”



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