Another Health Information Data Breach May Affect Millions
4.5 million. That’s how many people UCLA Health said may have had their personal information—including Social Security numbers—compromised as the result of a data breach.
The university said an attacker accessed a network that contained personal and medical information. According to UCLA Health, there’s no evidence that any such data was taken, but it can’t rule out that possibility pending an investigation.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the attacker gained access to names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, Medicare and health plan identification numbers as well as some medical information like patient diagnoses and procedures.
UCLA also said the information that was accessed was not encrypted.
In a statement, UCLA Health said there are indications that the attacker may have had access to its health network as early as September 2014. Their investigation is ongoing. UCLA Health is notifying and making available identity protection services to those whose information was stored on the affected parts of our network.
UCLA health said it notified the FBI after noticing unusual activity on its network and is currently working with the FBI and a third-party forensic investigator to learn more about the breach and what information may have been accessed.
If you or someone you know was affected by this breach, here are a few tips to consider:
- Change ALL of your passwords, and change any password reset questions that can be easily answered with compromised information. Make those changes right now. Start with financial passwords, then email, and then social media accounts. You may want to consider using a reputable password manager that auto-generates long and strong passwords.
- Look for discrepancies in your financial accounts. If a transaction isn’t familiar, contact your bank or credit card company.
- Be on alert for signs that new accounts have been opened up in your name.
- Take advantage of the free identity protection offered by UCLA Health, but know that the 12-month service being offered may not be enough. A criminal can use your Social Security number to steal your identity years after a breach.
- If you notice anything suspicious, don’t wait to act. Follow up on anything related to your identity or financial accounts that seems out of the ordinary.
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