Missing thumb drive puts 3,500 Texas cancer center patients at risk

Share this article:

More than 3,500 patients of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center may have had personal information compromised after a researcher's unencrypted USB thumb drive went missing.

How many victims? 3,598, according to HHS.gov. 

What type of personal information? Names, dates of birth, medical record numbers, diagnoses, and treatment and/or research information related to treatment of infections.

What happened? A researcher lost a USB thumb drive that contained the patient information.

What was the response? The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is reinforcing policies and procedures with regard to storing and handling personal information on electronic devices. Added security measures will allow USB thumb drives to be encrypted, as well as wiped remotely. All impacted patients are being notified.

Details: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center first learned the USB thumb drive was missing on Dec. 2, 2013. The drive was last seen on Nov. 27, 2013, in the researcher's access-controlled office. A search of the office and the researcher's home was conducted, but the device was not found.

Quote: “We have no reason to believe that the information on the USB thumb drive has been or will be accessed improperly, and it may be that the drive was simply misplaced within the facility or inadvertently discarded,” according to a notification on the website.

Source: mdanderson.org, “Important Confidentiality Notice for MD Anderson Patients: Lost USB Thumb Drive,” Jan. 31, 2014.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of SC Magazine to post a comment.
close

Next Article in The Data Breach Blog

Sign up to our newsletters

RECENT COMMENTS

FOLLOW US

More in The Data Breach Blog

Cyberswim notifies customers that payment card data may be at risk

Malicious software installed on Sept. 24 may have compromised personal information for visitors that made purchases between May 12 and Aug. 28.

Marquette University notifies graduate applicants of possible breach

Settings for an internal file server were inadvertently modified, making graduate school applications accessible to anyone with Marquette University login credentials.

Physician's email account, accessed by unknown source, contained patient data

UC Davis Health System is notifying 1,326 patients that a physician's work email account was accessed by an unknown source and an email within that account contained their personal or medical information.