Dec 092017

Cynthia McCormick reports on the resolution of  a lawsuit stemming from a laptop theft in 2014. The breach was previously  reported on this site:

Hundreds of Cape Cod students — many with special needs — were put at risk of identity fraud and theft when a laptop was stolen from an employee of a billing company that handles Medicaid payments for schools.

The laptop contained the names, Social Security numbers and other information from approximately 2,618 Massachusetts students from 13 school districts including the Bourne, Truro and Nauset districts, according to the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, which investigated the breach.

Last week, Healey’s office obtained a judgment in Suffolk Superior Court against the New Hampshire-based billing company, Multi-State Billing Services LLC, requiring it to pay $100,000 and to teach employees how to protect client privacy

Read more on Cape Cod Times.

Dec 052017

So it appears I missed a third-party vendor/business associate leak that affected at least two covered entities and possibly more. Great thanks to Humana for sending along the vendor’s press release when I inquired about a breach report Humana had made to HHS as affecting 5,764 members or potential members. It turns out that the breach was at Real Time Health Quotes, and it involved a data leak discovered by researchers.

Of note, Florida Blue ( was also impacted by this breach, even though Florida Blue has no relationship with RTHQ and had no idea how or why RTHQ was in possession of data from 939 insurance applicants involving them. In a notification they made on October 27, Florida Blue wrote:

Florida Blue does not have a relationship with RTHQ. We are taking additional steps to determine how RTHQ acquired this application information and why RTHQ stored this information on an unsecured server.

Excellent questions, and kudos to Florida Blue for attempting to assist those affected by the breach even though RTHQ is not their vendor and Florida Blue apparently had no responsibility at all for the breach. has reached out to Florida Blue to see if there is any update to their part of the incident and will update this post if more information becomes available. In the meantime, here is RTHQ’s press release, below. Note that it apparently took them more 60 days to disclose the breach following discovery.

Real Time Health Quotes Notifying Area Residents of Privacy Breach

TAMPA, Fla. – November 17, 2017 – On Sept. 1, 2017, Real Time Health Quotes became aware that a security researcher found information that was not properly secured on a web-based storage system. This data was owned and maintained by Real Time Health Quotes (RTHQ), an insurance broker/agency that sells medical, dental and vision plans for various health insurance companies.

The individuals impacted by this event applied for insurance through RTHQ. To the knowledge of RTHQ, the information has not been accessed by anyone other than the security researcher. RTHQ confirmed that the information was no longer available on the storage site as of Sept. 1, 2017.

The unsecured information included insurance applications and related correspondence between 2009 and 2017, which may have included name, Social Security number (SSN), financial information such as credit card account number, banking account and/or routing number, medical information, product information and/or deductible amounts.

This was an isolated incident. The storage site where this information was maintained was not generally available for viewing on the web without specific technical skills and security tools.

Notification letters have been sent to area residents who were impacted by this event. In addition, RTHQ has partnered with Equifax(r) to provide its Credit WatchTM Gold with 3-in-1 Monitoring identity theft protection product to these individuals for one year at no charge. Anyone with questions about this event and how to protect themselves may call RTHQ at 1-800-985-9449.

Dec 052017

India Ashok reports:

A massive trove of sensitive data was left freely exposed online by San Francisco-based July Systems. The company’s cloud-based location intelligence and engagement platform called “Proximity MX”, which contains proprietary information belonging to the firm and its clients, were exposed via unsecured Amazon S3 databases.


According to security researchers at Kromtech, who discovered the three leaky S3 buckets, July System’s platform is used by several high-profile companies, including CNN, ESPN, Intel, Toys”R” Us, CBS, Fox, and NBC Universal.

Read more on IBT.

Nov 242017

For more than one year, employee data of approximately 8,500 Department of Social Services employees was exposed online due to an error by contractor Business Information Services. Paul Karp reports that the compromised data included:

credit card information, employees’ names, user names, work phone numbers, work emails, system passwords, Australian government services number, public service classification and organisation unit.

Read more on The Guardian.

Nov 132017

J. Craig Anderson reports:

The names, addresses and Social Security numbers of roughly 2,100 Mainers who receive foster care benefits were accidentally posted to a public website in September, the Maine Office of Information Technology said Monday.

The incident was the responsibility of an employee of a contractor, Knowledge Services, who still has a contract with the state, although the employee has been terminated.

Read more on Sun Journal.

Thanks so much to the reader who sent me the link to this one.