UNCG Discovers Health Information Security Breaches; 2,500 Being Notified

From the University of North Carolina – Greensboro (UNGG) statement:

Computer security breaches at two UNCG clinics allowed unauthorized access to information about more than 2,500 individuals.

The university has mailed letters to the last known addresses of those whose personal information was exposed and posted notices on the clinics’ websites. The two computers infected with malware via the Internet were in the university’s Speech and Hearing Center and Psychology Clinic.

Although the problems were discovered days apart in June, they are believed to be unrelated. Employees of the clinics and Information Technology Services have been working since then to determine what records were vulnerable and who might be affected. It is not known how long the breaches lasted before detection. Although it was determined that the malware would have allowed access to data on the computers, it is unknown whether any information was actually taken from the computers.

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The bulk of the impacted records are in the Speech and Hearing Center, where a breach was found June 10 and corrected the same day. The compromised computer was used for billing and contained records for about 2,300 people who have received services from the Center since 1997. Vulnerable data included names, addresses, social security numbers, dates of birth, telephone numbers, insurance companies, insurance ID numbers, group numbers, diagnosis codes, procedure codes and charges.

The problem at the Psychology Clinic, involving malware on a computer used to document incoming phone calls, was detected and fixed June 7. The vulnerable computer contained a spreadsheet with names, dates of birth, telephone numbers, cities of residence, whether or not callers had insurance and dates of contact from about 240 callers between Sept. 20, 2006, and Sept. 22, 2009. In some cases, the spreadsheet also contained reference to the caller or caller’s family member as “client,” symptoms reported by the caller, reference to an inquiry about testing or evaluation, and reference to “therapist/treatment/provider and/or services.” No social security numbers appeared on the spreadsheet.

The Psychology Clinic computer also held 18 phone intake/client data forms from March 2009 through June 2010. The forms included names, ages, dates of birth, telephone numbers, addresses, insurance providers (if any), social security numbers and dates of contact. In some cases, one or more of the following types of information also appeared on the form: therapist, case number, status of previous treatment, service requested and description of the problem.

Source: UNGG

Related – UNGG Speech and Hearing Center, UNGG Psychology Clinic

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