Cybersecurity researchers have found that the official website of the Ministry of AYUSH in Jharkhand was breached which has exposed over 3.2 lakh patient records on the dark web, a new report said on Monday.
According to the cybersecurity company CloudSEK, the website’s database, amounting to 7.3 MB, holds patient records that include personally identifiable information (PII) and medical diagnoses. The compromised data also contains sensitive information about doctors, including their PII, login credentials, usernames, passwords, and phone numbers.
The data breach was initiated by a threat actor named “Tanaka”.
The Ayush website is a critical resource providing information about Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy treatments.
“The link between the compromised data and Ayush Jharkhand’s website was established by cross-referencing chatbot and blog post data shared by the threat actor with publicly accessible data on the website,” the researchers said.
According to the report, the data breach exposed about 500 login credentials (some in cleartext), contact information of 737 individuals who utilized the “Contact Us” form, 472 records containing PII details of doctors, PII data of 91 doctors, along with the information about where they were posted.
Moreover, the researchers said that the data breach poses significant risks, potentially leading to — account takeovers due to leaked data, brute force attacks exploiting common or weak passwords, and heightened susceptibility to sophisticated phishing attacks.
To address this critical breach, the cybersecurity experts recommended several mitigation strategies such as the implementation of a robust password policy, activation of multi-factor authentication (MFA) across all logins, prompt patching of vulnerable and exploitable endpoints, prohibition of sharing unencrypted secrets on messaging platforms like Slack or WhatsApp, and others.