Daily Dash: World's Largest Healthcare Payment System Hit By Ransomware Attack

March 4, 2024
UnitedHealth Group has reported a ransomware attack on its payments subsidiary, and Mastercard has announced a new partnership to bring premium credit cards and other non-card payments to East Africa.

World's Largest Healthcare Payment System Hit By Ransomware Attack

UnitedHealth Group, the world’s largest healthcare company, has confirmed that its payments subsidiary, Change Healthcare, has been hit by a ransomware attack.

On Friday (March 1), UnitedHealth said Change Healthcare is experiencing a “cybersecurity issue” perpetrated by threat actors who have identified themselves as ALPHV/Blackcat.

ALPHV/Blackcat is the name of both a family of ransomware products and the threat actors who exploit these products.

The outage caused by the attack has meant that 90 percent of pharmacies in the US have had to change how they process electronic payments.

UnitedHealth said it is now working with law enforcement and third-party consultants Mandiant and Palo Alto Networks to restore the Change Healthcare payment system.

“We are working on multiple approaches to restore the impacted environment and will not take any shortcuts or take any additional risk as we bring our systems back online,” the company said.

“We will continue to be proactive and aggressive with all our systems, and if we suspect any issue with the system, we will immediately take action and disconnect.”

Mastercard, KCB Partnership To Expand Payments Offering In East Africa

Mastercard has signed a new five-year partnership with KCB Bank Kenya to launch an expanded offering of card and non-card payments in East Africa.

Under the partnership, customers in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda will have access to the Mastercard World and World Elite premium credit cards, in addition to corporate cards and youth prepaid cards.

Cardholders will also be able to make cross-border remittances, QR code payments and mobile tap-to-pay transactions.

Mastercard said the partnership will enable the two companies to “leapfrog” their way to financial inclusion targets among both consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises.

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