Breach, Data Security, Malware

Virus compromises sensitive info on 5,400 Colorado hospital patients

Social Security numbers and payment card data is among the personal information that may have been compromised for about 5,400 patients of Colorado-based Valley View Hospital after a computer virus was identified on some hospital computers.

How many victims? About 5,400. 

What type of personal information? Names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, payment card information, admission dates, discharge dates and patient visit numbers.

What happened? A virus identified on some hospital computers captured screenshots of the personal information and stored it in an encrypted and hidden folder on the Valley View Hospital network. The folder may have been accessed by an outside entity.

What was the response? Upon discovery, the hospital shut down incoming and outgoing traffic and took steps to eliminate the virus. The hospital brought in a forensic team to analyze the virus. The hospital made upgrades to its information security program and expanded IT security and procedures. All impacted individuals are being notified.

Details: The virus was discovered on Jan. 23 and the forensic team reported its findings about the virus on Jan. 25. Valley View Hospital has been unable to confirm if the data was improperly accessed by or transmitted to an outside entity.

Quote: “We have responded to this situation as quickly and comprehensively as possible, and we continue to monitor progress as we take steps to inform and support those potentially affected by this incident,” Gary Brewer, chief executive officer of Valley View Hospital Association, wrote in a notification posted to the website.

Source:, “Computer Virus,” March 2014.

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