Partners Health Care System, Inc. suffered data breach when it learned that employees had fallen victim to a phishing scheme, providing sensitive information to unauthorized individuals. Affected information includes names, addresses, dates of birth, telephone numbers, and Social Security numbers in a few cases. Moreover, patients’ clinical information, such as diagnoses, treatment received, medical record numbers, medical diagnosis codes, or health insurance information, could also have been exposed in a few cases.
“Responding to the ‘phishing’ emails created an opportunity for unauthorized access to the workforce members’ email accounts within the Partners HealthCare network,” the statement read. “When we learned of this, we took steps to secure the email accounts and contacted law enforcement.”
Partners’ affiliated hospitals and institutions are also potentially affected which includes Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, North Shore Medical Center, Partners Continuing Care, and Newton-Wellesley Hospital.
“We deeply regret any inconvenience this may have caused you,” Partners said in its statement. “To help prevent something like this from happening in the future, we have reinforced workforce member education regarding ‘phishing’ emails and are enhancing our existing technical safeguards to protect patient information.”
The hospital mentioned that notification letters are sent to the affected individuals. They believe that there is no indication of affected information being misused.
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