Suspicious Activity Forces LabCorp Systems Offline

Jack Murtha
JULY 18, 2018
labcorp hack,labcorp sec filing,diagnostics hacking,hca news

Diagnostics giant LabCorp was forced to take certain systems offline over the weekend after hackers had infiltrated its information technology network, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.

Although the company said it hadn’t found evidence of a data breach, the “suspicious activity” spurred system shutdowns that “temporarily affected test processing and customer access to test results on or over the weekend,” according to LabCorp’s filing.

>> READ: Is Blockchain the Answer to Healthcare’s Cybersecurity Concerns?

“Work has been ongoing to restore full system functionality as quickly as possible, testing operations have substantially resumed [on Monday] and we anticipate that additional systems and functions will be restored through the next several days,” wrote F. Samuel Eberts III, LabCorp’s chief legal officer and secretary.

LabCorp takes part in more than 115 million patient encounters each year. In its filing, the company said it had found no evidence that their data were compromised, either through illegal transfer or misuse, “at this time.”

Hackers appeared to have only infiltrated a portion of the organization’s network, targeting its diagnostics system, according to the SEC filing. Eberts noted that LabCorp had no reason to believe that the cyberattack got into systems used by Covance Drug Development, another arm of the company.

“LabCorp has notified the relevant authorities of suspicious activity and will cooperate in any investigation,” Eberts wrote.

The organization is incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in Burlington, North Carolina. It is among the world’s largest healthcare-testing companies, with roughly 60,000 employees and the ability to process more than 2.5 million patient specimens per week. According to one market research firm, LabCorp performs more than 4,800 kinds of medical tests.

Although the precise effects of the hack remain unclear to the public, it is yet another blow to privacy and security for healthcare, an industry that has fought and often failed to keep its systems clear of malicious actors in search of high-priced personal data, bitcoin ransom, and other nefarious gains.

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