UnitedHealth says recent ransomware attack cost $872m | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

A ransomware attack in February continues to impact UnitedHealth, while there are claims that stolen data is now up for sale by criminals online.

UnitedHealth claims a recent hack of its Change Healthcare business cost it $872m in the first quarter of 2024 – and the toll is expected to rise throughout the year.

That’s according to a recent earnings report from the company, which stated the Change Healthcare “business disruption” impacts amounted to $0.25 per share in the first quarter. UnitedHealth estimates the impact will be between $0.30 to $0.40 per share for the full year.

“Adjusted earnings from operations of $8.5bn include the Change Healthcare business disruption impacts and exclude the cyberattack direct response costs,” UnitedHealth said.

The impact relates to a cyberattack that occurred in February that targeted Change Healthcare, which provides billing and data systems. The attack saw disruptions last across hospitals and pharmacies in the US for roughly a week, according to multiple reports.

The attack took down various services provided by Change Healthcare – many of which are still partially disrupted or awaiting a service restoration. The company claims its pharmacy claims and payment management businesses are 80pc functional, Reuters reports.

Recent developments suggest the hackers were able to steal valuable data from their ransomware attack and one report from The Register suggests the attackers received a possible ransom payment of $22m. UnitedHealth declined to comment on whether it paid a ransom.

An extortion group called RansomHub claims that stolen data from the Change Healthcare cyberattack is up for sale online.

“The core story at UnitedHealth Group remains our colleagues delivering improved experiences for the people we serve and driving balanced growth even while swiftly and effectively addressing the attack on Change Healthcare,” said UnitedHealth Group CEO Andrew Witty.

Ransomware continues to be a burden for organisations worldwide, particularly those in industries that deal with sensitive data such as healthcare and government organisations.

A recent report by cybersecurity company BlackFog Enterprise claims Ransomware surged by 110pc last month and that LockBit ransomware continues to be the dominant variant.

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National Cyber Security