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168,000 at risk after computers stolen, health data compromised in LA

Medical patients in Los Angeles County should be aware of a potential security breach, with a stolen computer containing 168,000 patient records
By Michael Hatamoto from Mar 9, 2014 @ 13:27 CDT

Up to 168,500 patients of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services are at risk after thieves broke into the Sutherland Healthcare Solutions (SHS) office and stole PCs with personal information.




Included in the data breach: Names, Social Security Numbers, birthdates, addresses, medical diagnoses, medical and billing information. The Southern California SHS office was broken into on February 5, and the company is now working with law enforcement - and reviewing its internal policies to try and prevent a similar breach from happening in the future.


"We take this incident very seriously and are taking the necessary precautions to protect all patient related information from theft or criminal activity," SHS said in an open memo. "We and Los Angeles County are actively working with law enforcement."


There is a large black market for stolen personal information, and cybercriminals can generate even more revenue if health information is compromised. Although cyber-based attacks grab most of the headlines, physical theft remains a major threat for companies trying to protect personal data, according to security researchers.


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