Breach, Data Security

Malware compromises data of patients at UMass Amherst health center

A speech, language and hearing treatment center at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst sustained a breach after one of its workstations was infected with malware.

How many victims? 1,670 patients.

What type of personal information? Social Security numbers, addresses, names, dates of birth, health insurance company names (or names of the insurance payee), insurance numbers and other health information.

What happened? On April 5, the university detected that malware was on a machine at its Center for Language, Speech, and Hearing.  

What was the response? The university sent notification letters to those affected and installed automated malware detection software on its systems. Staff also will undergo additional security training.

Details: UMass Amherst officials believe there is little risk that the compromised information was stolen. In 2008, the school also experienced a breach when a hacker accessed a university server containing Social Security numbers and some credit card data of students who attended UMass between 1982 and 2002.

Source: The Republican,, “UMass Amherst reports intrusion into health records,” June 4, 2013.

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