DePaul experienced phishing-related data breach, notified 902 health program clients (updated, corrected)
Correction of April 9, 2019: It appears that although DePaul reviewed 41,000 emails, they wound up needing to notify only 902 patients.
Sarah Taddeo reports:
Local housing and health provider DePaul experienced a data breach in February that exposed some clients’ sensitive information, the organization announced Friday.
The incident was deemed a “phishing scam” — a hacking tactic meant to obtain sensitive information, typically via email — that involved one employee email account. Since learning of a potential breach on Feb. 1, DePaul evaluated 41,000 emails that could have been affected.
A small percentage of the emails involved in the incident contained Social Security numbers, dates of birth and full names of individuals participating in DePaul’s behavioral health program. Those people were notified of the situation via letter, DePaul said in a release.
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DePaul’s statement from their web site:
On February 1, DePaul experienced a data incident involving a single employee’s email account. As soon as it was discovered, DePaul immediately secured the e-mail account and provided additional training to staff to identify and avoid future occurrences.
DePaul also launched an immediate investigation and since that time we have reviewed more than 41,000 emails. The vast majority of the emails involved in the incident did not contain any significant medical or psychiatric information, or information commonly used in identity theft. However, a small percent did contain information such as a first and last name, a date of birth, and/or a social security number.
The investigation determined the incident was a “phishing scam,” whereby a person outside of the DePaul organization obtained the e-mail credentials of a staff member with the intent of using those credentials to send out e-mails to other individuals.
Those directly affected were served by the behavioral health program and have been notified via letter. In addition, as an added level of security, DePaul will pay for credit monitoring services for one year for those who individuals who had their social security number exposed. If you have questions about whether your information was exposed, or want to know how to enroll in credit monitoring services, please call us a toll-free number 833-888-4248.
We encourage you to remain vigilant in monitoring your account statements and credit card transactions for incidents of fraud and identity theft, and to promptly report such incidents. We encourage you to routinely review bills, notices, statements and explanations of benefits that you receive from financial institutions, hospitals, doctors and health insurance companies.
DePaul values your privacy. We sincerely regret this situation has occurred. DePaul is committed to providing the highest quality care, including protecting your personal information. We assure you we have policies, procedures, and systems in place which protect your information and help us identify incidents of this type.