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University of Utah Health Discloses Data Breach

University of Utah Health revealed last week that it discovered unauthorized access to some employee email accounts, along with a malware infection on one of its workstations.

The research and teaching hospital, located on the campus of the University of Utah, said the intrusion was the result of a phishing attack, and it took place sometime between January 7 and February 21, 2020.

“From January 22 to February 27, 2020, we became aware that there was unauthorized access to some employees’ email accounts. This unauthorized access occurred between January 7 and February 21, 2020,” the hospital reveals.

University of Utah Health says it immediately secured the compromised accounts and launched an investigation, which revealed that the email accounts included some patient information, such as names, dates of birth, medical record numbers, and clinical information about received care.

Furthermore, the hospital notes, it discovered on February 3, 2020, that an employee’s workstation had been infected with a common type of malware, which may have allowed access to said patient information from the employee's email account.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing, but the hospital says it has no indication that any information has been misused.

However, patients are already being sent notification letters and the hospital has established a dedicated call center to answer any questions. University of Utah Health recommends that patients review statements received from their healthcare providers to spot discrepancies.

“We deeply regret any concern or inconvenience this may cause our patients. We are actively reviewing information protocols, reinforcing information security procedures with our employees and implementing changes where needed to help prevent an incident like this from happening again,” the hospital says.

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