Phishing Scam and Data Breach

April 27th, 2016 by admin Leave a reply »

Wyoming Medical Center recently suffered data breach when it was hit by phishing scam. According to the reports, 3,184 individuals received the notification letter by the medical center which mentioned that their PHI may have been accessed by an unauthorized user.

Facility explained the phishing email as,

“Phishing emails are email messages appearing to come from legitimate sources, such as a bank, a trusted friend or colleague, or trusted businesses, etc.  Phishing is an attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card information, email addresses, or Social Security Numbers.  Many times, it is difficult to identify phishing emails. “

Earlier in this February, the medical center found out that two email accounts were accessed by an outside entity.  Phishing email was sent to one of the employee and after opening it other employees also received emails. This unauthorized access lasted for around fifteen minutes.

Affected information included data related to hospital purchasing, wound care, and patients who were on isolation precaution. Also, PHI information was exposed which included names, medical record numbers, dates of hospital services, account numbers, dates of birth, and some medical information. Medical center mentioned that  EHR systems were not compromised.

Wyoming Medical Center has also reviewed its security policies. Facility also mentioned that there is limited scope of identity risk, “No, the information accessible by the unauthorized user was limited and did not include the proper information to allow for identity theft.  If you are concerned about potential identity theft, you may contact one of the credit reporting agencies that will place fraud protection on your credit report.  All you have to do is contact one of the three credit reporting agencies and ask them to put a fraud alert on your credit file, and they should automatically inform the other two credit agencies. “

Medical Center facility also mentioned that they take privacy very seriously by educating employees on privacy. It also has firewalls and necessary safeguards to avoid such incidents. It also performs routine audit to fine loopholes in the system. Also, information security firms are given contracts to monitor and audits systems routinely.

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