UConn Health: 326,000 could be impacted by recent phishing attack

Matt Pilon reports:

UConn Health on Friday disclosed that an unauthorized third party had accessed employee email accounts, potentially breaching the privacy of 326,000 patients and others.

Of that number, 1,500 could have had their social security numbers exposed, UConn Health said. For others, potentially acquired details include names, dates of birth, addresses, and billing and appointment information, according to a forensic investigator’s findings just before Christmas. Most of those that could be affected are patients, while a small portion are UConn employees, the state-led, Farmington-based health system, anchored by John Dempsey Hospital, said.

Read more on Hartford Business.

The following  statement appears on UConn Health’s  site:

Notice of Data Security Incident

UConn Health recently learned that an unauthorized third party illegally accessed a limited number of employee email accounts. Upon learning of the incident, we immediately took action, including securing the impacted accounts to prevent further unauthorized access and confirming the security of our email system. We also notified law enforcement and retained a leading forensic security firm to investigate and conduct a comprehensive search for any personal information in the impacted email accounts.

On December 24, 2018, we determined that the accounts contained some personal information, including some individuals’ names, dates of birth, addresses and limited medical information, such as billing and appointment information. The accounts also contained the Social Security numbers of some individuals.

At this point, we are not aware of any fraud or identity theft to any individual as a result of this incident, and do not know if any personal information was ever viewed or acquired by the unauthorized party. Nevertheless, because we cannot isolate exactly what, if any, information may have been accessed, we notified individuals whose information was in the impacted accounts. The incident had no impact on our computer networks or electronic medical record systems.

We have mailed notification letters to potentially impacted individuals for whom we have a valid mailing address. That notice includes information on steps individuals can take to protect themselves against potential fraud or identity theft. In addition, we are offering free identity theft protection services to individuals whose Social Security numbers may be impacted. As a general matter, we recommend that individuals regularly monitor credit reports, account statements and benefit statements. If individuals detect any suspicious activity, they should notify the entity with which the account is maintained, and promptly report the suspicious activity to appropriate law enforcement authorities, including the police and their state attorney general. In addition, anyone looking for information on fraud prevention can review tips provided by the FTC at www.ftc.gov/idtheft.

We take our responsibility to safeguard personal information seriously and apologize for any inconvenience or concern this incident might cause. We have taken and will continue to take steps to help prevent something like this from happening again, including evaluating additional platforms for educating staff and reviewing technical controls.

Individuals with questions may call our dedicated toll-free inquiry line at 1-877-734-5353 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

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