Data of about 26,000 patients may have been copied from Toronto hospital group

Share post:

Personal information of some 26,000 patients at one of the country’s biggest hospital groups may have been copied by an attacker in June.

Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN), a group that includes three downtown hospitals, notified an unknown number of people earlier this month that a database that tracks electronic referrals to Toronto Western Hospital’s orthopedic clinic was exposed. Orthopedics involves bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves.

The database included the names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, sex, medical assessments and patients’ provincial health insurance numbers.

All that information is ideal for cyber crooks to use to create phony identification.

Asked by email for comment about the letter on Sunday, Kyla Kumar, UNH’s vice president of communications and brand didn’t answer questions on exactly how the breach of security controls happened. She did say in a statement that UNH detected “unusual firewall activity” on June 19.

“Security safeguards can be bypassed by sophisticated threat actors who are continually evolving the technologies and tactics they use,” she said. “UHN Digital is vigilant in monitoring firewall activity and has an extremely strong track record for maintaining digital security. When unusual firewall activity was detected on June 19, the digital security team took swift action to contain and remove the threat actor from two applications.

“At this time there is no evidence that unauthorized users were able to access or otherwise retain any information from UHN systems.”

Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner has been notified, Kumar said, as have Toronto Police Service and the RCMP.

“The protection and safeguarding of personal information at UHN is a responsibility we take seriously,” Kumar said. “We deeply regret this incident and are committed to ensuring that those who have been affected have the support they need.”

University Health Network includes Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the Michener Institute of Education. The bulk of its funding comes from the province of Ontario.

The UHN facilities collectively have a total of 905 hospital beds, 415 rehabilitation beds and 203 beds for reactivation patients.

The post Data of about 26,000 patients may have been copied from Toronto hospital group first appeared on IT World Canada.
Howard Solomon
Howard Solomonhttps://www.itworldcanada.com
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times.

Featured Tech Jobs

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Related articles

Google Play introduces new biometric verification with a user warning

Google has recently announced updates to the biometric verification process for Google Play purchases, aiming to bolster security...

Cyber Security Today, Week in Review for week ending Friday April 19, 2024

On this episode Jen Ellis, co-chair of the Ransomware Task Force, talks about ways of fighting one of the biggest cyber threats to IT d

Cyber Security Today, April 19, 2024 – Police bust phishing rental platform, a nine-year old virus found on Ukrainian computers, and more

This episode reports on a threat actor targeting governments in the Middle East with a novel way of hiding malware is going international

Controversial expansion of US surveillance powers nears Senate vote

The US Senate is poised to vote on a significant expansion of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence...

Become a member

New, Relevant Tech Stories. Our article selection is done by industry professionals. Our writers summarize them to give you the key takeaways