Hotline for UCSD patients swamped

The hotline established by UCSD’s Moores Cancer Center after a hacker breached the center’s computers and gained access to patients’personal information has been swamped with hundreds of calls from worried patients.

Their primary concern has been whether their Social Security numbers were among the information stolen by whomever obtained the electronic files of 30,000 patients, according to DeAnn Marshall, UCSD Health Sciences chief of marketing and communications officer.

She said hospital officials have determined that just 36 of the files contained Social Security numbers.

A letter was sent to all of the patients earlier this month telling them that the center’s computer network was “illegally accessed” twice by overseas hackers and that some personal information may have been stolen.


Medical facilities report fewer hacking attempts than other institutions, such as banks and financial institutions, according to Murray Jennex, an associate professor in San Diego State University’s Information Decisions Systems Department.

That’s because most hackers are looking for information that can be used for financial gain.

“Medical records have no real value other than the very specific medical information,” Jennex said.

Read the whole article on SignOnSanDiego.  I don’t agree with Professor Jennex and would point to some recent cases where there have been extortion attempts over medical and prescription records.   Then, too, medical info can be used to perpetrate Medicaid and Medicare fraud to the tune of millions of dollars.  You don’t need an SSN or a bank account number or a credit card number to create financial mayhem.

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