Hit by cyber attack: UCLA Cyber Attack

Published: July 18, 2015

Hit by cyber attack: UCLA Cyber Attack, Personal and medical information belonging to 4.5 million UCLA Health patients and providers may have been compromised in a cyber attack, the hospital said in a statement Friday.

The compromised patient information included Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and medical information including test results, diagnoses, medications and procedures. This patient data was not encrypted, according to the LA Times.

“We take this attack on our systems extremely seriously,” Dr. James Atkinson, the interim associate vice chancellor and president of the UCLA Hospital System said in a statement. “Our patients come first at UCLA Health and confidentiality is a critical part of our commitment to care. We sincerely regret any impact this incident may have on those we serve. We have taken significant steps to further protect data and strengthen our network against another cyber attack.”

UCLA Health first noticed suspicious activity on its network in October 2014 and began an investigation with the FBI. On May 5, 2015, UCLA Health was able to confirm that attackers had accessed parts of UCLA Health’s network containing patient information, likely beginning in September 2014. “At this time, there is no evidence that the attacker actually accessed or acquired individuals’ personal or medical information,” UCLA Health said in the statement. However, UCLA Health has not been able to rule out that possibility and the investigation remains ongoing.

The hospital system has begun notifying affected individuals and expects that the 4.5 million potentially affected patients will receive their notice in the next few weeks. UCLA Health is offering a year of free credit monitoring and a $1 million insurance reimbursement policy to those impacted.

Security incidents cost the healthcare industry $6 billion per year, and UCLA Health’s breach is the fifth major healthcare breach in the past year alone.

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