No industry is immune from ransomware attacks—including senior living communities.
Senior living communities have exploded now that baby boomers are selling homes, down-sizing and getting ready for that stage of life. Many of us in the sandwich generation are choosing communities for our parents.
When residents move into a senior resident community, the community collects a vast amount of personal information from the resident. This information is valuable to hackers, and if security measures to protect the information are not robust, a hacker can gain access to this information and commit fraud against one of our most vulnerable populations-our seniors.
This makes the ransomware attack on Dallas Senior Living Community all the more disheartening. The hacker attacked the network, and was able to access the contact information of the residents and their family members, including residents’ Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers (why do they need a DL# anyway?), dates of birth, banking and credit card numbers, health insurance information (and if they are on Medicare, that includes a SSN), and clinical information.
The best way to protect these vulnerable individuals is with a credit freeze, which I hope is being offered to them.
The attack took place in January 25, 2017, so the information is no doubt already on the dark web. Families should be aware that the senior members of the family are vulnerable and take precautions to protect them. More on that in Privacy Tip #89.