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Security breached at state department

September 7th | Homer Tribune Print this article   Email this article  

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services had a security breach that may have disclosed personal information of individuals who have interacted with the Office of Children's Services. Due to the potential for stolen personal information, DHSS urges Alaskans who have been involved with OCS to take actions to protect themselves from identity theft.

On July 5 and July 8, two OCS computers were infected with a Trojan horse virus, resulting in a potential HIPAA breach of more than 500 individuals. It is not yet known if the division's confidential information was accessed. It is possible that OCS reports and documents containing family case files, personal information, medical diagnoses and observations, and other related information was accessed during this breach. Preliminary investigations indicate that information potentially accessed from this breach originated in the Western region.

Upon discovery of these events, the department took immediate action to mitigate further access to the infected computers. The DHSS Information Technology and Security team continues to work to determine the scope of data potentially accessed, and will provide up-to-date information to Alaskans who may have been affected.

Individuals who have had prior contact with the Office of Children's Services should call 888-484-9355 to see if their personal information may have been included in this breach. Updates will also be provided at www.dhss.alaska.gov.

For more information about how to protect avoid identity theft, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website IdentityTheft.gov.

 

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