Hospital warns 800,000 patient records may be missing

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

South Shore Hospital, in Weymouth, Massachusetts, has found itself in the highly embarrassing situation this week of admitting that the personal information of about 800,000 patients may have been lost in what can only be described as a data destruction disaster.

On February 26th, the hospital shipped backup computer files – containing the personal identifiable information of approximately 800,000 patients, staff, volunteers and business partners – to a third-party company – expecting them to be destroyed.

The hospital noticed that it hadn’t received a certificate from the data management company to confirm that the personal, medical and financial information had been destroyed – and on June 17th was finally informed that only a portion of the shipped back-up files has been received and destroyed.

That’s bad news if it was your name, address, phone number, date of birth, Social Security number, medical history or even (in some cases) bank account and credit card information that…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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