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Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation issues notification of a data security incident

Greg Kim

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) used a letter to inform current and former patients about a data security breach.

Via email, Mary Horgan, the vice president of communications for YKHC, said:

"At Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation we treat all our patients’ and employees’ privacy with the utmost care.

In late March, we became aware of an incident that temporarily disrupted our computer systems and servers.

After discovering the incident, we quickly took steps to secure our systems and immediately initiated an investigation to determine the potential scope of the incident. We engaged third-party forensic experts to assist in our investigation and remediation efforts and notified federal law enforcement.

We will be in direct contact with our patients and employees regarding any information we can share related to this incident."

KYUK reached out to FBI Public Affairs Officer Chloe Martin. In an email she said, “Per Department of Justice policy, the FBI can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation unless if, and until, charges are filed.”

The YKHC notification letter says that if anybody sees signs of identity theft they should file a police report. Bethel Police Chief Leonard Hicks said in an email that the department has not received any reports of identity theft at this time.

In the YKHC notification letter, they are offering to refer those impacted by the data breach to a single bureau credit score or single credit bureau monitoring service at no charge. They say fraud assistance is coming from Cyberscout.

YKHC did not disclose in their letter or emailed statement what type of incident occurred in late March, but a representative from Cyberscout did say it was ransomware.

"The health corporation realized it was the target of a ransomware attack on March 28 2023, which was detected. We immediately took steps to secure our environment," said the Cyberscout representative.

KYUK did reach out to a couple of people who received this letter for comment but had not received a response at the time of this report.

Francisco Martínezcuello is the KYUK News Reporting Fellow and a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Journalism. He is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.