"This is a very serious situation, and HHS along with our Department of Information Technology, state police, the Attorney General's Office and our homeland security agencies are all working together as the investigation continues", Hassan said. DHHS and the New Hampshire Department of Information Technology (DoIT) have eliminated the source of the breach and the information can no longer be accessed by unauthorized individuals at New Hampshire Hospital.
The computer system of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services was hacked by a former patient past year and the personal information of 15,000 clients were posted on social media.
The posting, however, was later confirmed after hospital security found that the patient had indeed added the breached confidential information online.
In August, a security officer at the hospital informed the state that the individual may have posted some information online but an investigation at that time did not reveal any evidence that confidential information had been breached.
There is no evidence that the private data were misused or that any of the banking or credit card information was accessed. DHHS will send a written notification through the USA mail to all individuals who were affected, for whom they have a valid mailing address. However, those who received services from DHHS prior to November of 2015 may wish to take steps to monitor their credit and bank statements.
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New Hampshire Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Horn quickly accused Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan of withholding information about the breach until after Election Day, when Hassan defeated Republican U.S. Sen.
Meyers offered an apology to individuals possibly affected by the data breach.
Just a week before her office was made aware of the breach, Hassan issued an executive order to form a cybersecurity task force created to tighten safeguards on state systems. The state's IT department is looking into the specific change on the breached computer and reviewing file access permission across state government.
Personal information of about 15,000 clients in the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services' internal files has been posted to a social media site, Commissioner Jeffrey A. Meyers said. That personal information included names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and Medicaid identification numbers.