Saturday 24 February 2024

U.S. Health Insurance Company Hit With Cyberattack From ‘Suspected Nation-State’ Actor, Crippling Pharmacies’ Ability To Process Prescriptions

 A subsidiary of one of the largest health insurance agencies in the U.S. was hit by a cyberattack earlier this week from what it believes is a foreign “nation-state” actor, crippling many pharmacies’ ability to process prescriptions across the country.

UnitedHealth Group, a Minnesota-based company, said its subsidiary Change Healthcare’s system was compromised when a “suspected nation-state associated cyber security threat actor” gained access on Wednesday, Bloomberg reported. Change Healthcare was the only network affected by the cyberattack, according to UnitedHealth.

“UnitedHealth Group identified a suspected nation-state associated cyber security threat actor had gained access to some of the Change Healthcare information technology systems,” the company said. “Immediately upon detection of this outside threat, the company proactively isolated the impacted systems from other connecting systems in the interest of protecting our partners and patients, to contain, assess and remediate the incident.”

The multi-billion-dollar health insurance company is unsure when the service for its subsidiary will be restored and is working with law enforcement and security experts on the issue.

“Change Healthcare is experiencing a cybersecurity issue, and our experts are working to address the matter,” UnitedHealth said in a statement. “Once we became aware of the outside threat, in the interest of protecting our partners and patients, we took immediate action to disconnect our systems to prevent further impact.”

Following the cyberattack, some pharmacies could not process prescriptions for insurance companies to receive payment, CNN reported. Hospitals such as the Naval Hospital in Camp Pendleton, California, and Evans Army Community Hospital in Colorado released statements saying they were either unable to process prescription claims or were experiencing delays.

“Due to an ongoing enterprise-wide issue, all Camp Pendleton and associated pharmacies are unable to process any prescription claims. We are only able to assist patients with emergency and urgent prescriptions from hospital providers at this time. Please visit our website for info,” the Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton, said.


On Thursday, the American Hospital Association warned its roughly 5,000 member hospitals and other health care providers of the cyberattack against Change Healthcare and said it believes “all other systems across UnitedHealth Group are operational.”

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