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Data Breach at Community Health Plan Exposes Info of 400K Individuals

December 21, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Community Health Plan of Washington is sending letters to nearly 400,000 individuals following a data breach which exposed the personal information of current and former members.

The Seattle Times reported that the information breached may have included Social Security numbers, addresses, dates of birth, and claims information, though there is not yet evidence of any harm to members.

The organization, which provides health insurance through Medicaid in Washington, is sending letters to 381,534 individuals notifying them of the invasion and steps they can take to protect themselves with help from Community Health Plan of Washington, according to the report.

Community Health Plan’s chief operating officer said that the breach occurred in November when someone left a phone message with the agency saying they he or she had identified a vulnerability in the computer network of the firm that provides the organization with technical services. The Seattle Times reported that this company is a subsidiary of NTT Data. Per the report, an NTT Data spokesperson said the vulnerability has been eliminated.

According to the report, the caller’s identity or motive are not yet known. The organization confirmed the breach Nov. 30 after a forensics investigation and notified the FBI and state regulators, including the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Community Health Plan waited until now to notify members to allow time to hire a consumer security firm, line up translation services and set up a call center for anxious members to contact, according to the Seattle Times.

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