The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) says they were recently hit with a data security breach, and thousands of patients’ confidential information may have been compromised.
The information may include patients’ names, birthdays, medical record numbers, health insurance information — as well as a small amount of Social Security numbers and bank account information.
According to a news release from the MCW, they learned that a small number of faculty and staff were victims of a spear phishing attack to their email system. It occurred between July 21st and July 28th, but the the forensic firm could not definitively conclude if any information was actually accessed, viewed, downloaded or otherwise acquired by the unauthorized user.
Upon discovering the issue, MCW promptly disabled the impacted email accounts, required password changes to the compromised accounts, maintained heightened monitoring of the accounts and commenced an investigation.
MCW concluded that an unauthorized third party accessed a limited number of email accounts belonging to MCW employees that contained patients’ protected health information, the release states. The compromised email accounts at issue contained either one or more of the following: patients’ names, home addresses, dates of birth, medical record numbers, health insurance information, date(s) of service, surgical information, diagnosis/condition, and/or treatment information.
Social Security numbers and bank account information for a very small number of patients were also contained within the affected email accounts.