UT: Westminster College notifies individuals following phishing attack

Earlier today, I reported that the College of Eastern Idaho was notifying people of a breach after four employees fell prey to a phishing attack. Now here we are, a few hours later, and I’m reporting that Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah is notifying people after eleven of their employees fell prey to phishing attacks.

Although the notification to the Montana Attorney General’s Office did not specify whether it was only employees, students, or a combination of both that were impacted, the kinds of information in the compromised employee email account included name, address, date of birth, Social Security Number, bank account number, credit card number, driver’s license number, passport number, and/or protected health information. The notification did not indicate when the attacker first gained access to the affected email accounts, but the college appears to have notified the state that the breach occurred on May 1, 2018 and ended on July 21, 2018. The notification did not indicate the total number of affected individuals.

You can read the full notification with its offer of mitigation services below:


The reference to “protected health information” in the notification raises additional questions as to whether this incident has been reported to HHS, and if so, was it within 60 days of discovery? Certainly notification to individuals was made within 30 days of conclusion of their investigation, but that’s not the clock-starter for reporting under HIPAA and HITECH. When did the college first discover the breach? Was it July 21? If so, then notification to HHS would be required on or before September 21. I have a feeling we won’t see this one on HHS’s breach tool, as the odds of having protected health information on 500 or more in an employee’s mail box at a college seems …. unlikely.

Well, I hope it would be unlikely…

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