Privacy Advisor

This Week’s Data Breach Roundup

May 10, 2013

Government Records

Perhaps the biggest breach incident this week comes out of the state of Washington. The Administrative Office of the Courts announced that hackers infiltrated a public website between last fall and early this year and accessed Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses, KUOW.org reports. It is known that at least 94 Social Security numbers (SSNs) were obtained by hackers and an additional 160,000 SSNs may also have been captured. But, according to the report, potentially one million driver’s license numbers may also have been accessed. An IT operations manager for the court system said the hackers exploited a software weakness. “It was a protected area,” he said, “it was password-protected, but it was an oversight on our part that it was not encrypted.”

Medical Records

Approximately 17,300 patients of Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic are being notified their X-rays were compromised after it was discovered that a third-party vendor sold the X-ray films to an Ohio-based recycling company that harvests the film for silver, HealthcareITNews reports. The clinic contracted with the vendor to convert the X-ray films into electronic format, but the vendor never returned the films. According to one report, X-ray silver-harvesting scams are on the rise.

A southern Pennsylvania senior living center has made at least 7,300 current and former residents aware that their personal data was breached stemming from a malware program that made it into the organization’s computer systems. According to HealthITSecurity, compromised data included names, birth dates, SSNs, Medicare numbers, health insurance numbers and other diagnostic codes.

The University of Rochester Medical Center in New York has announced that 537 former orthopedic patients have been victims of a breach stemming from a misplaced USB flash drive. Compromised data included names, ages, contact information and diagnoses, but did not include addresses and Social Security numbers. The clinic has begun retraining faculty and staff on encryption policies when transporting sensitive health data.

The theft of nearly $41,000 worth of computer equipment from a Chicago city office may have exposed personal health records of an undisclosed number of patients. One expert noted that if the equipment was not encrypted, the total cost will far exceed $41,000.

Financial Records

A Tennessee-based convenience store chain has revealed that customers who made credit and debit card purchases during specific times in March and April may be at risk. The Associated Press reports that the stores are located in at least seven states, from Tennessee to Mississippi, Arkansas to Georgia. The FBI and a forensics company are conducting investigations.

In court filings, the 2010 intrusion of Nashville-based retailer Genesco Inc’s computer system may have been more widespread than initially thought. The incident put “several million Visa cardholders’ accounts at risk” and may have caused “millions of dollars in fraudulent transactions,” Visa said in the court filing, totaling $13.3 million. The retailer is suing Visa because it says the assessments are “unfair, arbitrary and not allowed under the card company’s contracts with the banks,” The Tennessean reports.

On Wednesday, Internet registrar Name.com announced it was breached. Customers’ user names, e-mail addresses, passwords and credit card account information “may have been accessed by unauthorized individuals,” according to TheNextWeb.

As was reported by The Daily Dashboard last week, Attorneys General George Jepsen of Connecticut and Doug Gansler of Maryland are asking LivingSocial for more details of a recent breach effecting nearly 50 million users.

-IAPP Staff