Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany Find Long-Term Malware Infection

by | Nov 14, 2017

In August 2017 malware was discovered to have been installed on one of the computer servers used by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany (CCDA) in its Glens Falls office, which served patients in Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties in New York. It was discovered while an upgrade of its computer security software, was being carried out.

Quick steps was taken to block access to the server and CCDA called in a computer security firm to carry out an investigation into the unauthorized access. The investigation, which took several weeks to finish, showed that access to the server potentially dated back to 2015.

While access to the server was possible and malware had been installed, the investigation did not find proof to suggest the protected health information of patients had been viewed or downloaded.

An analysis of the server showed the stored files contained the protected health information of 4,624 people. The information potentially accessed by the attackers was comprised of names, addresses, birth dates, diagnosis codes, dates of service, and for some patients, their health insurance ID numbers which may have included Social Security numbers. Financial data and details of treatment and therapy were stored in other places on the network and were not accessible at any time.

The incident has been reported to law enforcement agencies, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Division of Consumer Protection, and the state Attorney General. Patients have been made aware of the breach and have been offered credit monitoring and identity theft protection services for one year for free.

Even when appropriate security solutions are put in place to safeguard the protected health information of patients, breaches can still happen. Sister Charla Commins, CSJ, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties, revealed, “We have modern digital security measures in place, but every day it seems criminals’ intent on invading computer systems find new ways to do so.” Sister Commins also explained, “We take very seriously our responsibility for protecting private information, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our clients and staff.”

To stop potential further malware attacks and intrusions, CCDA has improved the security of its servers.

Raise the level of HIPAA Awareness in your organization with Learner-Friendly, Comprehensive and Affordable HIPAA Training.


Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy is a highly accomplished journalist and editor with nearly two decades of experience in the field. With expertise in writing and editing content, Patrick has made significant contributions to various publications and organizations. Over the course of his career, Patrick has successfully managed teams of writers, overseeing the production of high-quality content and ensuring its adherence to professional standards. His exceptional leadership skills, combined with his deep understanding of journalistic principles, have allowed him to create cohesive and engaging narratives that resonate with readers. A notable area of specialization for Patrick lies in compliance, particularly in relation to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). He has authored numerous articles delving into the complexities of compliance and its implications for various industries. Patrick's comprehensive understanding of HIPAA regulations has positioned him as a go-to expert, sought after for his insights and expertise in this field. Patrick's bachelors degree is from the University of Limerick and his master's degree in journalism is from Dublin City University. You can contact Patrick through his LinkedIn profile:

Raise the level of HIPAA Awareness in your organization with Learner-Friendly, Comprehensive and Affordable HIPAA Training.

Comprehensive HIPAA Training

Used in 1000+ Healthcare Organizations and 100+ Universities

    Full Course - Immediate Access

    Privacy Policy