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US Medicaid breach is blamed on European hackers

Health department fingers overseas hackers
Thu Apr 05 2012, 10:07

A HACK ATTACK on the Utah Health Department is being blamed on hackers from Eastern Europe.

The department said 24,000 files were exposed by the attack and the hackers made off with names, social security numbers and other personal information.

"At this point, efforts are focused on determining the number and identity of individual clients who may have had their information compromised during the breach," admitted the state Health and Technology Services Departments in a joint statement.

So far they know that the breach happened at the end of last week, and that someone started siphoning off the files over the weekend. Utah's Technology Service woke up to the losses on Monday and told state Health Department officials that day.

Perhaps embarrassingly for them, the Technology Services Department had just moved the plundered files onto a new server that did not have all of the security protection of the rest of the state's systems.

"Technology services had recently moved the claims records to a new server, and hackers believed to be operating out of Eastern Europe were able to circumvent the server's multi-layered security system," they said in the statement.

"The affected server has been shut down, and new security measures have since been implemented. The agency takes such attacks by thieves seriously and is cooperating with law enforcement in a criminal investigation."

Utah's information technology team is reviewing all of its systems, but it suspects that the leaks are contained to the weak-link server. It said that it is reaching out to people that might be affected and urged Medicaid card holders to keep an eye on their bank accounts. µ


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