UNC Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center has discovered that one of its laptop computers has been stolen, exposing the protected health information of around 24,000 patients.
The computer was obtained by unauthorized individuals in a break in on October 8, 2017 at the Chapel Hill, NC based centers. UNC Health Care said a database on the stolen computer contained the protected health information of clients who had previously attended the Burlington Dermatology Center at 1522 Vaughn Road. UNC Healthcare purchased the practice in September 2015, and details of patients who had visited the center for care before to September 2015 were stored in the password-protected directory.
As the database asks for a password to gain access to patient information, it is possible that no PHI has been accessed. However, since passwords can be ascertained, and the database was not sufficiently encrypted, patients are being alerted of the potential privacy breach to adhere with HIPAA and N.C. Identity Theft Act requirements.
The database included information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and the current employment status of patients and the names of employers when they attended. While it is possible that diagnosis codes were also accessible in the database, UNC Health Care does not think that details of diagnoses, treatments, and prescriptions have been accessed.
Law enforcement agencies have been made aware of the break in and an investigation is ongoing, but the stolen computer has not been located to date.
As a standard precaution against identity theft and fraud, all patients affected by the breach have been offered free credit monitoring services for 12 months.
Patients of CCRM Minneapolis Warned of Ransomware Attack
CCRM Minneapolis, P.C., has experienced a ransomware attack that has may have allowed the hackers to obtain to the protected health information of 3,280 clients.
The attack happened on or around October 3, 2017. While data access and PHI theft are not thought likely, and no proof was uncovered to suggest this was anything other than an extortion effort involving the encryption of data, CCRM Minneapolis reports that data stored on the accessed server may have been seen.
Data potentially accessed includes names, phone numbers, addresses, dates of birth, email addresses, driver’s license details, Social Security numbers, medical histories, and insurance identification detailss.