BREAKING NEWS: UCLA Health System Hit By Massive Data Breach: 4.5 Million May Be Affected | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

BREAKING NEWS: UCLA Health System Hit By Massive Data Breach: 4.5 Million May Be Affected

July 17, 2015
by Mark Hagland
| Reprints
On Friday, UCLA Health System was hacked, causing a massive data breach potentially affecting 4.5 million people

On July 17, the Los Angeles-based UCLA Health System was hacked, with a massive data breach potentially affecting 4.5 million people. What’s more, it turns out that the data involved had not been encrypted.

According to a Los Angeles Times report posted online at 5:51 PM Pacific time on Friday, “[H]ackers  broke into UCLA Health System's computer network and may have accessed sensitive information on as many as 4.5 million patients, hospital officials said.This cyberattack at UCLA comes on the heels of a major breach of federal employee records and a massive hack at health insurance giant Anthem Inc. affecting 80 million Americans this year.”

The L.A. Times report, written by Chad Terhune, went on to say that “The intrusion is raising fresh questions about the ability of hospitals, health insurers and other medical providers to safeguard the vast troves of electronic medical records and other sensitive data they are stockpiling. The revelation that UCLA hadn't taken the basic step of encrypting this patient data drew swift criticism from security experts and patient advocates, particularly at a time when cybercriminals are targeting so many big players in healthcare, retail and government,” Terhune went on to say.

And in his report, Terhune quoted Dr. Deborah Pell, founder of Patient Privacy Rights in Austin, Texas, as saying, “These breaches will keep happening because the healthcare industry has built so many systems with thousands of weak links.”

In response to the cyberattack, UCLA officials said that they are working with the FBI, and have hired IT forensic experts to further secure the organization’s network. “We take this attack on our systems extremely seriously,” Dr. James Atkinson, interim president of the UCLA Hospital System, told the L.A. Times. “For patients that entrust us with their care, their privacy is our highest priority. We deeply regret this has happened.”

Healthcare Informatics will update readers as new developments emerge in this story.

 

 

 

 

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Advocate Aurora Health, Foxconn Plan Employee Wellness, “Smart City,” and Precision Medicine Collaboration

Wisconsin-based Advocate Aurora Health is partnering with Foxconn Health Technology Business Group, a Taiwanese company, to develop new technology-driven healthcare services and tools.

Healthcare Data Breach Costs Remain Highest at $408 Per Record

The cost of a data breach for healthcare organizations continues to rise, from $380 per record last year to $408 per record this year, as the healthcare industry also continues to incur the highest cost for data breaches compared to any other industry, according to a new study from IBM Security and the Ponemon Institute.

Morris Leaves ONC to Lead VA Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization

Genevieve Morris, who has been detailed to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from her position as the principal deputy national coordinator for the Department of Health and Human Services, will move over full time to lead the newly establishment VA Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization.

Cedars-Sinai Accelerator Program Presents Fourth Class of Startups

The Cedars-Sinai Accelerator, a program that helps entrepreneurs bring their innovative technology products to market, has brought in nine more health tech startups as part of its fourth class.

DirectTrust Adds Five Board Members

DirectTrust, a nonprofit organization that support health information exchange, announced the appointment of five new executives to its board of directors.

Analysis: Many States Continue to Have Restrictive Telemedicine Policies

State Medicaid programs are evolving to accelerate the adoption of telemedicine models, this evolution is occurring more quickly in some states than others, according to a recent analysis by Manatt Health.