Montana hacking incident puts 1.3 million people’s personal data at risk

Montana hacking incident puts 1.3 million people’s personal data at risk

A data security breach of Montana's public health records put personal information of as many as 1.3 million people at risk, department Director Richard Opper warned on Tuesday.

In May, unknown hackers breached the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services' computer servers, which contained people's personal information such as names, home addresses, birth dates and social security numbers.

The hacked services also contained information on people's health conditions, assessments, diagnoses, treatment, prescriptions and insurance. Birth and death records were also on the server.

Opper confirmed the hacking incident, but added that there were no reports of people's identities being stolen.

In a statement issued yesterday, Opper said, "We have absolutely no indication the criminals who illegally entered the server had any interest in the data they accessed in any way, shape or form, and we have no reports of people's identities being stolen."

He added that nearly 17,000 attempts were made to hack into Montana's computer system per hour, but the May breach of the health department's servers marked the first time hackers successfully infiltrated a state agency's computer system.

Montana is the most recent target in a string of high-profile hacking attacks. In 2012, hackers breached Utah's computer servers containing health records. That hacking attack was allegedly originated in Eastern Europe, and compromised the personal information of more than 780,000 patients.


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