90,000 UW Medicine Patient Files Compromised

UW (University of Washington) Medicine announced last week that early in October, an employee opened an E-mail attachment that contained malicious software (malware).  The malware took control of the computer, which had patient data stored on it.

According to a press release from the organization, UW Medicine staff discovered this incident the following day and immediately took measures to prevent any further malicious activity.

“Based on the results of an internal investigation, it is believed that patient information was not sought or targeted,” the release states.  “However, the malware accessed the data files of roughly 90,000 Harborview Medical Center and University of Washington Medical Center patients.

“The incident was referred to the FBI, and patients may be contacted by the FBI as part of its investigation. UW Medicine has also implemented a review, training and outreach effort as a result of this incident.

“Data about patients may have included: name, medical record number, other demographics (which may include address, phone number), dates of service, charge amounts for services received at UW Medicine, Social Security Number or HIC (Medicare) number, date of birth.

“The affected patients will receive direct mail correspondence from UW Medicine. In addition, a vendor (ID Experts) will be managing a call center on behalf of UW Medicine. Beginning November 29th, the call center hours are 6 AM-6 PM Pacific Standard Time, Monday-Friday. The toll-free phone number is 1-877-271-1533, (International callers, please call 503-597-7682).”

Read the full press release.

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