Risk
4/21/2010
06:21 PM
50%
50%

Health Insurer Notifies More Than 409,000 Of Potential Breach

Sensitive medical records found on previously leased digital copier, company says

Affinity Health Plan, a New York managed care service, is notifying more than 400,000 current and former customers employees that their personal data might have been leaked through the loss of an unerased digital copier hard drive.

According to a press release (PDF) quietly issued earlier this month, some personal records were found on the hard drive of a copier found in a New Jersey warehouse. The copier had previously been leased by Affinity and was then returned to the leasing company, the release states.

The disclosure follows the airing of a CBS News report that called attention to the practice of recycling or resale of copiers whose hard drives have not been properly erased.

The report showed the discovery of numerous medical records found on warehoused digital copiers. An executive at a company that makes hard-drive-erasure products used a free forensics tool to glean the data from one of the copiers in the CBS News report.

The CBS investigation also turned up sensitive data from other organizations, including personal information from a restaurant in the Phoenix area and criminal records information from a Buffalo-area police department.

Affinity Health Plan says it has not had a chance to review the data found on the copier, but in a news report, a spokesman said the figure of 409,262 notifications includes former and current employees, providers, applicants for jobs, members, and applicants for coverage.

Failure to properly dispose of medical records is a violation of New York privacy regulations and could carry fines or other sanctions.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-8142
Published: 2014-12-20
Use-after-free vulnerability in the process_nested_data function in ext/standard/var_unserializer.re in PHP before 5.4.36, 5.5.x before 5.5.20, and 5.6.x before 5.6.4 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted unserialize call that leverages improper handling of duplicate keys w...

CVE-2013-4440
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 generates weak non-tty passwords, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the password via a brute-force attack.

CVE-2013-4442
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 uses weak pseudo generated numbers when /dev/urandom is unavailable, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the numbers.

CVE-2013-7401
Published: 2014-12-19
The parse_request function in request.c in c-icap 0.2.x allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via a URI without a " " or "?" character in an ICAP request, as demonstrated by use of the OPTIONS method.

CVE-2014-2026
Published: 2014-12-19
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the search functionality in United Planet Intrexx Professional before 5.2 Online Update 0905 and 6.x before 6.0 Online Update 10 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the request parameter.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.