Personal information on 1.3 million people including bank details, medical records and home addresses may have leaked after a security incident where attackers gained entry to a server owned by Montana’s Public Health and Human Services department. Officials said that information on the affected server included names, addresses, birth dates and medical records, according to AP’s report.
Officials said that potential victims would be offered a free credit-monitoring service and identity fraud insurance, but said that it was not yet known how much information had leaked in the attack.
A group of unknown origin accessed the server in May this year, according to the Chicago Tribune’s report.
Speaking to news agency Reuters, department head Richard Opper said, “We have absolutely no indication the criminals who illegally entered the server had any interest in the data they accessed in any way, shape or form, and we have no reports of people's identities being stolen.”
The leak could potentially affect both clients of the DPHHS and contractors who worked for the department, officials said in a news release.
"Out of an abundance of caution, we are notifying those whose personal information could have been on the server," said Opper. "Again, we have no reports, nor do we have any evidence that anyone's information was used in any way, or even accessed."
The illegal access was first detected on May 15h, and a forensic investigation was immediately ordered, according to Techworld’s report. On May 22nd, an independent forensic investigation determined the server had been hacked. DPHHS staff reviewed all files on the server to determine those individuals to be notified.
Information on the server included identifying information such as names, addresses, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers for DPHHS clients, along with services applied for, and information related to health assessments, diagnoses, treatment, health condition, prescriptions, and insurance.
"I encourage Montanans who are notified to sign up for the free credit monitoring and insurance that is being provided," Opper said. Anyone who fears they may have been affected can find further information at an official site at www.dphhs.mt.gov.