Hacking attempt made at Vernon doctor’s office

Dr. Larrie Mandreck was alerted to a remote hacking attempt during which unauthorized access was briefly obtained to the computer system

An attempt to hack into the computer system at Vernon Dr. Larrie Mandreck's office has been uncovered.

An attempt to hack into the computer system at Vernon Dr. Larrie Mandreck's office has been uncovered.

Somebody tried to hack into a Vernon doctor’s computer system.

The office of Dr. Larrie Mandreck was alerted on Sept. 24 to a remote hacking attempt during which unauthorized access was briefly obtained to the local computer system.

Information that is contained in the patient files could include, name, date of birth, email address, home address, telephone number, the name of employers, as well as notes in relation to the treatment offered at Dr. Mandreck’s office.

“There is no indication this was a hack for information and no indication patients’ records were actually accessed,” said Mandreck’s office in a release.

“The attack appears to have been focused on encrypting system files for ransom, and a review of Dr. Mandreck’s network traffic discloses no large-scale download of information consistent with the uploading of patient records.”

Due to the sensitive nature of health information, Dr. Mandreck is taking steps to notify all current and former patients of the potential privacy breach, including contacting all current patients directly.

Dr. Mandreck’s office has also notified the RCMP, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of B.C. of the hacking attempt.

Dr. Mandreck’s office does not keep any bank account numbers in the patient files. In rare cases (for example patients receiving immunotherapy treatments) credit card information may be on file.

“We encourage you to contact your financial institutions to place a note on your account in case unauthorized individuals attempt to access your account fraudulently,” said the release. “We also recommend that you contact other credit bureaus (e.g. Equifax, or TransUnion) in Canada to request a free copy of your most recent credit report.”

The hack occurred despite several layers of security measures already in place, including password protection and encryption of patient files.

In addition to notifying patients of the potential breach, Dr. Mandreck’s office is working with security professionals to prevent the possibility of similar incidents occurring in the future.

Should you have any additional questions about this matter, please feel free to contact Dr. Mandreck’s office at 250-503-2205 or the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of B.C. at 250-387-5629.