County Public Health responds to privacy breach  

Press release

News release 

Between Feb. 19 and Feb. 20, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health experienced a phishing attack in which a hacker was able to gain log-in credentials of 53 Public Health employees through a phishing email, compromising the personal information of more than 200,000 individuals.  

Upon discovery of the phishing attack, Public Health disabled the impacted e-mail accounts, reset and re-imaged the user’s device(s), blocked websites that were identified as part of the phishing campaign and quarantined all suspicious incoming e-mails, according to a news release from Public Health.  

Additionally, awareness notifications were distributed to all workforce members to remind them to be vigilant when reviewing e-mails, especially those including links or attachments. Law enforcement was notified upon discovery of the phishing attack, and they investigated the incident. 

The information identified in the potentially compromised e-mail accounts may have included DPH clients/employees/other individuals’ first and last name, date of birth, diagnosis, prescription, medical record number/patient ID, Medicare/Med-Cal number, health insurance information, Social Security Number, and other financial information. 

Affected individuals may have been impacted differently and not all of the elements listed were present for each individual. 

Public Health is notifying impacted individuals by mail. For individuals where a mailing address is not available, Public Health is also posting a notice on its website to provide information and resources. Public Health is also notifying the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights and other agencies as required by law and/or contract. 

In response, Public Health has implemented numerous enhancements to reduce exposure to similar e-mail attacks in the future, the release said. 

While Public Health cannot confirm whether information has been accessed or misused, individuals are encouraged to review the content and accuracy of the information in their medical record with their medical provider.  

To help relieve concerns and restore confidence following this incident, Public Health has secured the services of Kroll, a global leader in risk mitigation and response, to provide identity monitoring for one year at no cost to affected clients, the release said. 

Individuals who would like to inquire if their information was impacted can contact the established dedicated call center available toll free in the U.S. at 1-866-898-4312, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time (excluding weekends and major U.S. holidays). 

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