AOH :: IS1780.HTM

Academic Claims to Find Sensitive Medical Info Exposed on Peer-to-Peer Networks




Academic Claims to Find Sensitive Medical Info Exposed on Peer-to-Peer Networks
Academic Claims to Find Sensitive Medical Info Exposed on Peer-to-Peer Networks



http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/03/p2p-networks-le.html 

By Kim Zetter 
Threat Level
Wired.com
March 02, 2009

An academic says he found thousands of sensitive medical records leaked 
over peer-to-peer networks from computers at hospitals, clinics and 
elsewhere.

The report comes on the trail of news that a file containing sensitive 
information about the presidential helicopter was leaked from a 
government contractor's computer over a peer-to-peer network.

M. Eric Johnson, director of the Center for Digital Strategies at 
Dartmouth College, says he used simple search terms on several 
filesharing networks and uncovered files listing patient names, Social 
Security numbers, birth dates, insurance carrier names and insurance 
diagnosis codes that revealed which patients were being treated for 
specific diseases. He conducted some of the searches last month and 
presented his findings at a conference last week.

Among about 160 files that Johnson claims contained sensitive data 
(.pdf) were two spreadsheets containing information on 20,000 patients, 
which identified four patients being treated for HIV-AIDS, 326 patients 
being treated for cancer, 201 being treated for mental illnesses and 
thousands afflicted with various other diseases. The spreadsheets came 
from a collection agency that a hospital employed to track down 
delinquent payments.

[...]


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