UMass Amherst Data Breach Affects 942 Patients

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is notifying University Health Services patients that their protected health information was possibly breached after a workstation was inadvertently infected with a malware program, according to a UMass news release.

The malware infection occurred on June 30, 2010, and the vulnerability on the workstation was corrected on Oct. 28, 2010. A subsequent investigation by UMass Amherst's Office of Information Technologies found no evidence suggesting any data was copied from the UHS workstation, which contained patients' names, health insurance company names, medical record numbers and information on prescriptions dispensed between Jan. 2, 2009-Nov. 17, 2009, including the medication, dispensing pharmacist, quantity, length of prescription and physician's name.

UMass Amherst officials have taken steps to increase and improve security training for system administrators, installed automated software to detect malicious activity and increased efforts by central technology staff to identify files in departmental computers containing personal information. In addition, current and new UHS staff members are receiving additional training in security practices.

Read the news release about the UMass Amherst data breach.

Read other coverage about data breaches:

- Deloitte: Some Healthcare Organizations Ill-Prepared for Data Breaches

- Henry Ford Health System Loses Information on More Than 2K Patients

- Study Finds 5M Individuals' Information Lost, Stolen During First Year of HITECH

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