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Multiple Healthcare Providers Suffer Thanksgiving Day Cyberattacks

The HIPAA Journal

Cyber actors often time their attacks to coincide with holiday periods when IT staffing levels are likely to be reduced to increase the probability of being able to access networks and exfiltrate data undetected, especially during Thanksgiving weekend. This year is no exception. Several healthcare providers have announced that they are currently investigating potential cyberattacks that started on Thanksgiving Day. The nature of the attacks has not yet been disclosed and, at such an early stage in the investigations, it is unclear if patient data has been exposed or stolen.

UT Health East Texas, Texas

Tyler, TX-based UT Health East Texas, the operator of 10 hospitals and more than 90 healthcare clinics in East Texas, has confirmed that it experienced a network outage on Thursday, November 24, 2023. Steps were immediately taken to lock down its network to prevent any further unauthorized access. Without access to critical IT systems, ambulances were put on divert; however, care continues to be provided to patients with the health system operating under established downtime procedures. A statement was issued by a UT Health East Texas spokesperson saying network access is expected to be restored in around 24-36 hours, although it is currently unclear if that has happened.


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