Quest Diagnostics warns of data breach affecting almost 12 million patients

Kenny Tucker
June 7, 2019

Quest Diagnostics said the personal information of 11.9 million customers has potentially been compromised.

The breach incurred through the American Medical Collection Agency, a third-party vendor that provides billing collections services for the company.

AMCA reported unauthorized access to one of their web payment pages and during that time, the hackers took information from both Quest and Optum 360.

Both LabCorp and Quest said AMCA continues to investigate the scope and cause of the hack and has not yet provided detailed information about the incident, including which customers might have been affected. Then on Friday, AMCA told Quest that the information of 11.9 million patients may have been accessed.

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Quest has since suspended transmission of collection requests to AMCA and is working with Optum 360 to ensure patients are notified of the situation, in accordance with the law.

Quest did, however, divulge that the system contained information shared with AMCA by "various entities", which leaves open the possibility other healthcare providers' patients may have been compromised as well. They also say that they are investigating the security breach with the help of a third-party forensics firm. Quest is likely not AMCA's only client, and we expect the numbers of affected individuals to rise above 12 million as more companies report that their data was also part of the breach.

An outside security expert has been hired to determine the damage of the breach. It said AMCA plans to offer affected customers identity protection and credit-monitoring services for two years. "This kind of information is much more lucrative than personal health information, that, at the moment, is not readily marketable by criminals", commented Dr. Giovanni Vigna, co-founder and CTO of Lastline.

Quest Diagnostics admitted in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the personal information of almost 12 million people may have been compromised by hackers. Scrambling data through encryption prevents bad actors from monetizing stolen information.

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