Funds misrouted to 'unknown bank account': Florida GI group hit with data breach, wire fraud

Bradenton-based Florida Digestive Health Specialists is notifying more than 212,500 individuals of a December 2020 breach involving business email compromise and fraud.

On Dec. 27, 2021, the 49-physician group informed Maine's attorney general office that an email breach discovered a year earlier involving wire fraud has affected 212,509 individuals, 11 of whom were Maine residents.

An employee on Dec. 16, 2020, noted suspicious email activity that "resulted in suspicious emails having been sent from their employee account," and Florida Digestive discovered five days later that "funds had been misrouted to an unknown bank account," according to a Dec. 27 statement.

An investigation found that a limited number of employee email accounts were accessed by unauthorized users.

Florida Digestive investigated the accounts, described by the practice as "voluminous," to determine what information they contained; whether they constituted personal information, protected health information or other confidential information; and to whom that information belonged. The process took "a considerable amount of time," concluding on Nov. 19, according to the practice.

Protected health information that could have been exposed in the breach include Social Security numbers, financial information, dates of birth, diagnoses and health insurance information.

Florida Digestive said it has taken steps to bolster its security systems, such as resetting passwords and implementing multifactor authentication systems. It also installed additional security controls, strengthened password protocols and reconfigured its firewall.

The practice, which has more than 30 locations across Florida, also is offering complimentary credit monitoring and identity restoration services for 12 months.

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