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In one of the biggest HIPAA security breaches reported, hackers accessed a server from a Texas healthcare system, compromising the protected health information of some 405,000 individuals.
The five-hospital St. Joseph Health System in Bryan, Texas, on Tuesday reported it had experienced a three-day long data security attack back in December, when certain parties gained unauthorized access to a server containing patient and employee Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and medical information.
According to health system officials, the unauthorized parties operated from IP addresses in China and several other locations.
When the incident was discovered, officials said the affected server was taken offline and a forensics investigation with national security and computer forensics experts was launched.
“SJHS is dedicated to the privacy and safety of patient and employee information and deeply regrets any potential impact this incident could have,” officials wrote in a Feb. 4 press release. “We are diligently pursuing all avenues to protect the interests of the individuals we serve.”
This is one of the largest hacking incidents reported in the healthcare industry, according to Department of health and Human Services data.
Back in March 2012, The Utah Department of Health reported the largest hacking-related HIPAA breach to the Department of Health and Human Services. A server containing the Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and protected health information of some 780,000 individuals was compromised in the breach.