Medical data breach involves more than 170,000 additional victims
Los Angeles County officials said Thursday that 170,200 additional victims have been identified in a theft of medical data from a county contractor’s office.
The total number of county patients affected now stands at 338,700. The data was stored on eight computers taken in a February break-in at the Torrance office of Sutherland Healthcare Solutions, a company that handles medical billing and collections.
The computers contained data that included patients’ first and last names, Social Security numbers and certain medical and billing information. Birth dates, addresses and medical diagnoses may also have been included, officials said.
Torrance police are investigating the break-in, along with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s cyber crime team and the U.S. Secret Service, which also investigates computer crimes.
Sutherland, via a public relations firm, released a description of a suspect in the break-in and surveillance video images. The company is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the return of the stolen equipment or the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft.
According to the statement released by Englander, Knabe & Allen on behalf of Sutherland, the suspect captured on film is a black man of “unknown age and height with a thick build.” He was wearing gloves, a dark sweatshirt and dark hat with white insignias, gray or blue jeans and bright blue athletic shoes. He also had an earring in his left ear and a large watch on his left wrist.
The county is reviewing Sutherland’s security procedures. County spokesman David Sommers could not say how long the review would take.
So far, three class action lawsuits have been filed against the county over the data breach, Sommers said.
Sutherland sent out notices to potentially affected patients offering free credit monitoring. The firm also has set up a toll free line -- 877-868-9284 -- for those trying to determine if their records are involved.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Torrance police Detective Hassoldt at (310) 618-2374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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