The Social Security Administration sold the information in a database of deceased individuals that erroneous contained the Social Security numbers, dates of birth, full names and ZIP codes of living people, the inspector general reports.
State agencies transferred information containing unencrypted, personal information to unsecured servers between January and May 2010, but the exposure was not discovered until two weeks ago, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs says.
After the revelation of Operation Aurora, the term began to take on a different meaning. "In essence," IBM's X-Force report says, "APT became associated with any targeted, sophisticated or complex attack regardless of the attacker, motive, origin or method of operation."
Three recent breach incidents, each involving the loss or theft of back-up drives, illustrate that some organizations are doing a better job than others in informing consumers about the steps they're taking to prevent more breaches.
Insurer Health Net is notifying 1.9 million individuals that their healthcare and personal information may have been breached as a result of nine server drives missing from a California data center managed by IBM.
In the second major HIPAA enforcement action announced by federal authorities this week, Massachusetts General Hospital and its physicians organization have entered into a resolution agreement that calls for paying a $1 million settlement and taking corrective action to avoid future violations.
The owner of four clinics in Maryland has been fined $4.3 million for HIPAA privacy rule violations that involved failing to provide 41 patients with access to their medical records and then failing to cooperate with federal investigators.
The federal list of major health information breaches included 240 incidents affecting 6.5 million individuals as of Thursday. But that number soon could grow substantially as a result of incidents that made headlines this week.
Some 1.7 million individuals are being notified of a health information breach incident involving data from The New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. It's the largest breach reported so far under the HITECH Act breach notification rule.