1M affected in WSU data breach

Julie Spitzer - Print  | 

The names and personal data of nearly 1 million people throughout Washington state were comprised when a back-up hard drive was stolen from a safe in April, Phil Weiler, vice president of marketing and communications at Pullman-based Washington State University, tells Becker's Hospital Review.

The stolen hard drive stored back-up files at an off-site storage facility for a server used by WSU's Social and Economic Sciences Research Center, according to a WSU statement. The hard drive included names and personal data — sometimes social security numbers and personal health information — of nearly 1 million community members and survey participants from school districts, community colleges and other customers, says Mr. Weiler.

Mr. Weiler says WSU officials "do not have any evidence to indicate that [the data] has been accessed … [and] it would not be easy for people to extract information from the drive."

WSU began notifying affected individuals June 9 after it hired an independent cybersecurity company to confirm which individuals — and their data — were on the drive, according to the university.

Mr. Weiler urges those concerned to visit WSU's website or call its dedicated assistance number: 888-523-9195. WSU will be offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services.

More articles on health IT:

Wash U to rename genomic center after $10M gift

HHS warns of WannaCry-like "Hidden Cobra" attack

How useful are drug monitoring programs? 5 report insights

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

To receive the latest hospital and health system business and legal news and analysis from Becker's Hospital Review, sign-up for the free Becker's Hospital Review E-weekly by clicking here.