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Confidential information stolen
scaramouche | April 17, 2008 at 12:12 pmby
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digg_url = 'http://beautifulcity.us/content/view/356/';The confidential information of tens of thousands of University of Miami patients was stolen last month. A case containing computer back-up tapes with patient information and employee health benefit information was stolen from an outside storage company vehicle. The truck was on its way to an off-site storage facility. Local law enforcement is investigating the theft.
Shortly after learning of the incident, the University determined it would be unlikely that a thief would be able to access the back-up tapes because of the highly secured format in which they were written. Even so, UM engaged the leading computer security experts in the U.S. to attempt to hack into the data from a similar back-up tape. All of their attempts over a lengthy process were unsuccessful. Based on this information, UM believes misuse of the information on the tapes is unlikely.
The tapes were in a transport case that was stolen from a storage company vehicle on March 17 in downtown Coral Gables. The Coral Gables police have told us this is one of a series of vehicle thefts in the same area.
Anyone who has been a patient of a University of Miami physician or visited a UM facility since January 1, 1999, is likely to have their basic information included on the tapes. The data on the tapes included names, addresses, Social Security numbers, or health information. The University will be notifying by mail the 47,000 patients whose data may have included credit card or other financial information regarding bill payment.
UM has created a Web site to serve as the principal source of information about this incident: www.dataincident.miami.edu. As a back-up for this Web site, UM has established a call center at 1-866-628-4492.