2,000-Plus Medical, Person Records Leaked From Rhode Island Hospital

Published: March 7, 2007

WESTERLY, R.I. – An investigation has been launched after a security lapse led to more than 2,000 medical records from Westerly Hospital being posted on the Internet.

Hospital officials claim they were not aware of the security breach until a suspicious patient called police. Names, Social Security numbers, home addresses, insurance information, and medical procedures and histories were all posted to a public Web site hosted by Yahoo Inc. Authorities were able to have Yahoo take the site down five hours after the initial call.

Due to the patient providing the initial report, the Rhode Island attorney general is investigating whether hospital officials were aware of the compromise in security. If they are found to have been aware beforehand, the hospital faces fines up to $25,000 because of a 2005 law punishing businesses for not immediately reporting crimes resulting in identity theft.

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