From the category archives:

Security

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Google defends amassing health data on millions of people

January 9, 2020

“These organizations, like Ascension, use Google to securely manage their patient data, under strict privacy and security standards,” he added. “They are the stewards of the data and we provide services on their behalf.”Known internally as “Project Nightingale,” The Journal reported that Google’s deal involves data such as “lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records, […]

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2019 Data Breach Hall of Shame: These were the biggest data breaches of the year

January 6, 2020

From CNET: The biggest recurrent motif among the major data breaches of 2019 wasn’t the black-hooded hacker in a dark room, digging into a screen full of green text. It was a faceless set of executives and security professionals under the fluorescent lights of an office somewhere, frantically dialing their attorneys and drafting public relations apologies […]

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Ransomware at Colorado IT Provider Affects 100+ Dental Offices

December 30, 2019

From Krebs on Security: This is disturbing. A Colorado company that specializes in providing IT services to dental offices suffered a ransomware attack that is disrupting operations for more than 100 dentistry practices, KrebsOnSecurity has learned. Multiple sources affected say their IT provider, Englewood, Colo. based Complete Technology Solutions (CTS), was hacked, allowing a potent strain […]

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Data Security Incident Southeastern Minnesota Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

December 16, 2019

This is one of the largest dental data breaches I am aware of. Most are just a few thousand, this is reported to be 80,000 individuals. Southeastern Minnesota Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (“SEMOMS”) has become aware of a data security incident that may have resulted in the inadvertent exposure of patients’ health information.  Although at […]

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Hundreds of millions of Android phone cameras can be hijacked by spyware

December 9, 2019

From Tom’s Guide: Rogue Android apps can hijack the default camera apps on Google and Samsung smartphones, and probably the camera apps on many other brands of Android phones, to take photos and record video and audio without the device users’ permission. Source: Hundreds of millions of Android phone cameras can be hijacked by spyware | […]

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Officials warn about the dangers of using public USB charging stations

November 26, 2019

FromZDNet: Travelers are advised to avoid using public USB power charging stations in airports, hotels, and other locations because they may contain dangerous malware, Source: Officials warn about the dangers of using public USB charging stations | ZDNet Uhm…maybe. An update to the article indicates the threat is mostly theoretical and may be nothing to […]

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Less than 60 Days Left Until Microsoft Ends Support for Windows 7 & Server 2008

November 25, 2019

From TechCentral: On January 14, 2020, Microsoft is retiring Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7. When Microsoft retires an operating system, it ceases to maintain it, provide critical patches or provide support for system issues. You might be running one or both of these operating systems. What does “End of Support” mean? If you continue to […]

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Delta Dental of Arizona Reports July 2019 Phishing Attack-Related Breach

November 14, 2019

Hmmm. Most significant data breaches in medicine and dentistry are not individual dentists but medical and dental plans. From Health IT Security: Delta Dental of Arizona is notifying an undisclosed number of individuals that their personal and medical data was potentially breached by a phishing attack in July.On July 8, the dental insurer discovered suspicious […]

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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Leave Windows 7

October 21, 2019

From  Dentrix Magazine: If you haven’t upgraded your network operating system, your patient data is at risk. After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and 2008 R2… Unsupported OS Increases Risk Running unsupported operating systems is a data security risk that leaves your office network more vulnerable to […]

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Google Has My Dead Grandpa’s Data And He Never Used The Internet

September 17, 2019

It turns out Google has info connecting me to my grandma (on my dad’s side) who’s alive and well but has never had the internet, and my grandpa (on my mom’s side), who recently passed away in March 2019 and also never had the internet. … my grandpa and my grandma’s name and address, respectively. […]

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Ransomware, phishing attacks target dentists

September 5, 2019

From ADA News: An estimated 432 dental practices were impacted Aug. 26 in a ransomware attack against DDS Safe, a service from The Digital Dental Record, a subsidiary of the Wisconsin Dental Association that provides IT products and services to dentists. DDS Safe is a system that facilitates secure data backups for dental practice computer […]

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Hackers demand more than $1M in bitcoin from Washington hospital

August 29, 2019

From Becker’s: The hackers likely gained access to the hospital’s information systems through a phishing email attempt, which allowed the unauthorized party to infect the system with ransomware, Grays Harbor Community Hospital CEO Tom Jensen told Daily World. For the ransom, the hackers demanded the equivalent to $1 million in bitcoin, Source: Hackers demand more […]

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Advances In Artificial Intelligence Threaten Safety, Privacy Of Our Health Data

August 15, 2019

From Study Finds: Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley say their findings show the regulations written within the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 may be outdated and are incapable of keeping Americans’ health data safe and private with the progress made by AI developers… …They say that AI can now use […]

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New Medicare initiative aims to fill holes in patient health records

August 12, 2019

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday unveiled a new initiative that aims to connect the dots between a patient’s health records held by different providers. The Data at the Point of Care, or DPC, demonstration seeks to bridge the data gap by connecting Medicare’s Blue Button — a tool that allows Medicare […]

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Healthcare breaches reported in May exposed data on 2 million people

August 1, 2019

From Modern Healthcare: Nearly 2 million people had data exposed in healthcare breaches reported to the federal government last month, more than double the number whose data was exposed in April-reported incidents.But May had fewer breaches reported than April, which marked the highest number of healthcare breaches reported in a single month since HHS’ Office […]

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Alexa and HIPAA

July 30, 2019

From Los Angeles Times: She told me the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, aka HIPAA, the federal medical-privacy law passed in 1996, never anticipated a scenario in which people would willingly disclose confidential medical information to a private company via a voice-activated computer in their living room. “HIPAA doesn’t apply to Amazon in this situation,” […]

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HIPAA Compliant Email | PBHS SecureMail | Secure Email Service | HIPAA Compliant Email for Dental & Healthcare Providers

July 25, 2019

Endorsed by ADA Member Advantage: PBHS offers a HIPAA compliant email solution for dental & healthcare organizations to send secure messages that comply with HIPAA. Call ☎ 855-932-4232. Source: HIPAA Compliant Email | PBHS SecureMail | Secure Email Service | HIPAA Compliant Email for Dental & Healthcare Providers Secure Drop™ is a drag and drop, […]

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Vancouver, Longview dental offices hit by malware

July 22, 2019

From The Columbian: Widespread malicious software attacks locking up computer systems have forced some local dental offices to cancel or reschedule appointments over the last week. The July 3 attacks affected customers of PM Consultants, a Portland-area IT consulting and support company, including Lower Columbia Oral Health. Arbor Dental in Longview and Vancouver and Longview Family […]

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House votes to lift ban on federal funding for unique patient identifier

July 15, 2019

From FierceHealthcare: Although HIPAA initially required the creation of a health identifier in 1998, Congress overruled the legislation, barring federal agencies from investigating or creating patient identifiers out of privacy concerns.The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) voiced its support for efforts in Congress to repeal an “archaic ban that has stifled innovation and industry progress for […]

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UChicago SUED for providing Google with sensitive patient data

July 8, 2019

From Campus Reform: A former University of Chicago medical patient filed a class-action lawsuit against the University of Chicago and Google, claiming that the University of Chicago Medical Center is giving private patient information to the tech giant without patients’ consent. About two years ago, the university medical center partnered with Google with the hope […]

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