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The TransForm Breach – Impact Reaches Five Canadian Hospitals

Data breaches have been occurring regularly for the past few months. Some companies (Pizza Hut, 23andMe) have been directly targeted through well-executed attacks, while others are impacted due to a breach within a certain provider. That’s exactly the case, as a recent hit on shared service provider TransForm has impacted five of Canada’s hospitals.

TransForm manages and handles the hospitals’ IT, supply chain, and accounts. The breach caused a temporary hassle within the hospitals’ system, forcing them to reschedule most of their appointments.

When such a breach usually occurs, a lot of sensitive data can be used to perform future malicious attacks. So, how big of an impact did this one have? What data was compromised? Here’s what we know.

TransForm Incident – From One Breach to Multiple Ones

Lately, data breaches are happening at an unexpected rate, with major companies all over the world falling victim to one every now and then.

Big providers across all countries have fallen victim. Those include American provider Dish as well as various high-profile companies in the world.

Also, this is not the first time the medical sector has been brought to the spotlight (maliciously). Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN) also suffered a breach a while ago, exposing thousands of its customers.

Now, TransForm, one of the biggest not-for-profit shared service organizations in Canada. According to the company, the five impacted hospitals are the following:

  • Windsor Regional Hospital
  • Hotel Dieu Grace
  • Erie Shores Healthcare
  • Hospice of Windsor-Essex
  • Chatham-Kent Health Alliance

TransForm released a statement confirming that their IT systems are experiencing an outage due to a cyberattack.

“We are providing an update on the technical issues we are experiencing. As the shared service provider we have determined that our member hospitals are experiencing a cyberattack.

Unfortunately, this incident is impacting their provision of care in various ways. For those patients who have care scheduled in the next few days, the hospitals will contact you directly, if possible, to reschedule or provide alternate arrangements.

We are investigating the cause and scope of incident, including whether any patient information was affected. Our investigation is ongoing and we will provide further updates, as appropriate.

For further information, please refer to our member hospital websites and social media channels. We will not be providing further comment in response to this statement.”

Source: TransForm

The five hospitals released a joint statement stating that there are some problems with scheduled appointments.

Anyone with an already-scheduled appointment will be contacted to reschedule. However, the investigations are still in place, so there is no news about whether any patient information was affected or not.

The Medical Sector is Under Attack

While this cyberattack caused only some minor outages, we still don’t know how big of an impact it had on the patients’ information.

The investigation is still ongoing, meaning that we’ll have to wait for further news. For the time being, if you’re a patient in one of these hospitals, we highly recommend vigilance online.

Don’t click on any link provided within an email address. If it’s urgent, visit the website manually.

Jonathan Beesly

Jonathan is the main author at He regularly publishes posts that aim to introduce better cyber-security practices to the masses.

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