Year-long computer virus puts 2.5k patients' information at risk in Oregon health clinic

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Eugene, Ore.-based Lane Community College notified 2,500 patients of potentially compromised health information, including names, addresses, dates of birth, diagnoses and Social Security numbers, according to The Register-Guard.

A technician discovered a virus on a computer at the Lane Community College health clinic when performing routine maintenance on Feb. 3. The virus, which infected the computer in March 2016, may have sent patient information to an unknown third party.

"This computer was not connected to any other computer in the clinic and there is no evidence that any patient information was transmitted," according to a LCC news release, which also highlighted that this is the first data breach at the clinic.

After discovering the virus, all other computers in the clinic were scanned, without any additional viruses found. LCC has since reviewed and upgraded the electronic security at the clinic.

"We take all aspects of healthcare seriously at the clinic, including the privacy of our records," Brian Kelly, vice president of college services at LCC, said in a news release. "We are focused on helping patients who have concerns and what we can do to better protect our systems in the future."

LLC officials suggested patients monitor their bank accounts for suspicious activity and file a police report, if applicable. They also encouraged patients to create fraud alerts with Equifax, Experian or TransUnion and to report the potential breach to their banks and credit card companies. They noted patients can receive free credit reports through annualcreditreport.com.

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