Hacked: Cencora Data Breach Exposes Sensitive Medical Information Of Americans

U.S. pharmaceutical giant Cencora has notified affected individuals that their personal and highly sensitive medical information was stolen during a cyberattack earlier this year, raising concerns about the security of healthcare data in a world where hackers abound and data security falls outside these organizations’ primary priorities.

In letters sent to affected individuals this week, Cencora revealed that the breached data includes patient names, postal addresses, dates of birth, health diagnoses and medication details. The company had obtained this information through partnerships with drug makers such as AbbVie, Acadia, Bayer, Novartis and Regeneron as part of its patient support programs.

The cyberattack began on February 21 but was not publicly disclosed until a week later when Cencora filed a notice with government regulators. The company, formerly known as AmerisourceBergen until 2023, handles around 20% of the pharmaceuticals sold and distributed throughout the United States.

Cencora spokesperson Mike Iorfino declined to disclose the number of individuals affected by the breach or how many have been notified to date. The company’s website claims it has served at least 18 million patients.

While Cencora maintains there is no evidence that the stolen information has been released online or used for fraudulent purposes, the breach raises concerns about the vulnerability of sensitive healthcare data in an increasingly digital world.

The company is offering affected individuals two years of free identity protection and credit monitoring services through Experian. But there are many threats and implications surrounding this digital theft that require a concrete fix, with the personal identifiers of so many Americans being so actively and so often successfully sought and stolen. The issue’s full impact hasn’t been seen yet, and so can’t be appreciated. But troubles may lie ahead for those whose data has been compromised this hack and those similar to it over recent years.