Data breach exposes millions of TRICARE patients

Compromised information may include Social Security numbers, addresses and phone numbers


SAN ANTONIO --

A massive data breach could affect millions who have received care from military facilities in San Antonio since 1992.

TRICARE, a health care program that serves active and retired military, released a statement about the breach on their website.

According to the statement, on Sept. 14, 2011, Science Applications International Corporation reported a data breach involving personally identifiable and protected health information impacting an estimated 4.9 million military clinic and hospital patients.

The information was contained on backup tapes from an electronic health care record used in the military health system to capture patient data from 1992 through Sept. 7 2011.

The information may include Social Security numbers, addresses and phone numbers, and some personal health data such as clinical notes, laboratory tests and prescriptions, the release stated.

According to the release, there is no financial data, such as credit card or bank account information on the backup tapes.

TRICARE said in the statement the risk of harm to patients is low because retrieving the data would require knowledge and access to specific hardware, software and knowledge of the system and data structure.

According to the release, the incident is being investigated and both SAIC and TRICARE are reviewing current data protection security policies and procedures to prevent similar breaches in the future.

Anyone who suspects that they were impacted by this incident is urged to take steps to protect their personal information and should be guided by the Federal Trade Commission at:

ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/defend

Concerned patients may contact the SAIC Incident Response Call Center, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time at the following numbers:

United States, call toll free: (855) 366-0140, International, call collect: (952) 556-8312

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