Email hack at Delta Dental of Arizona puts patient data at risk

Delta Dental of Arizona is alerting some patients that their information may be at risk after it identified suspicious activity in an employee’s email account.

While the scope of the breach is not yet publicly available, that information soon will be transmitted to the HHS Office for Civil Rights’ data breach web site. The organization reported that it’s sent data breach notification letter to an undisclosed number of patients.

The unusual activity was first noticed in July. Some 15 types of protected health information—some very sensitive--were put at risk, including Social Security numbers, financial account information and credit or debit card information.

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Delta Dental engaged data forensic investigators who confirmed the employee was victimized by an unauthorized individual who gained access to the email account.

The notification letter does not offer protective services, such as credit monitoring and identity protection, to patients.

“Delta Dental of Arizona encourages potentially impacted individuals to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review account statements, and to monitor credit reports for suspicious activity,” the letter advised patients.

“In an abundance of caution, Delta Dental of Arizona is notifying individuals because we have confirmed that certain personal information was present in the affected email accounts,” the organization said.

“While Delta Dental has no evidence of actual or attempted misuse of any information present in the email account, it could not rule out the possibility of access to data present in the account,” patients were told.

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