March 5, 2024

Ransomware group targeting Change Healthcare receives $22m Bitcoin payment

Editor's Note

BlackCat, the ransomware group responsible for the cyberattack on UnitedHealth Group’s Change Healthcare received a $22 million payment in bitcoins, according to a post the group made online. Reutors reported the news March 4.

Change Healthcare provides payment and revenue cycle management tools and is owned by UnitedHealth, the country’s biggest health-care company. Although UnitedHealth has not commented on or confirmed the payment, Reuters reports that a cryptocurrency tracing firm has lent credibility to the claim. UnitedHealth has only responded that it is "focused on the investigation and the recovery."

Billing services have been disrupted since the Feb. 21 cyberattack. On Monday, the American Medical Association requested help from the Biden administration to pay physicians via emergency funds due to the forced outage. The cybercriminal organization claims it stole 6 terabytes of data from Change, including medical records and Social Security numbers.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Blackcat is considered the second most prolific ransomware-as-a-service organization variant. Responsible for attacks on government facilities, emergency services, defense companies, and healthcare facilities, the group has been paid hundreds of millions in ransoms. 

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