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Oregon DHS reveals data breach of more than 350,000 clients' data

The agency said that the breach stemmed from a phishing scam that infected the emails of nine separate employees after they clicked a suspicious link.

Posted: Mar 21, 2019 2:20 PM
Updated: Mar 21, 2019 3:22 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon's Department of Human Services (DHS) revealed on Thursday that the private data of more than 350,000 clients may have been accessed in a massive data breach that began earlier this year.

The agency said that the breach stemmed from a phishing scam that infected the emails of nine separate employees after they clicked a suspicious link. The link "compromised their email mailboxes," and allowed the scammers to access the employees' emails.

"Unfortunately, Protected Health Information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was compromised and potentially exposed," DHS said.

Officials have not yet been able to confirm that the personal information of any specific clients was taken during the breach, but the potential size of the breach — more than 350,000 — means that the agency is required to notify the public under Oregon law.

According to DHS, scammers may have had access to the first and last names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, case numbers, and other information from thousands of clients.

"While there is no indication that any personal information was copied from its email system or used inappropriately, the department will be offering identity theft recovery services for impacted individuals," DHS said.

DHS discovered the breach on January 28, and believe that the phishing scam targeting DHS employees began on January 8.

The agency said that it has hired an outside company called IDExperts to look into the breach and find out exactly how many people may have been compromised — and what specific information may have been available on each client.

On Thursday afternoon, Oregon Republican lawmakers quickly released a statement panning DHS officials' handling of the breach.

“Transparency continues to be a systemic problem at DHS. Oregonians deserve better from government agencies and departments. Protection of personal information they are required to provide the state should be given the highest priority. Beyond that, we’re seeing a growing accountability issue when DHS fails to quickly inform the public about embarrassing matters,” said House Republican Leader Rep. Carl Wilson (R-Grants Pass).

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33509

Reported Deaths: 559
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7274140
Marion477996
Washington461560
Umatilla300441
Clackamas246663
Malheur165030
Lane129317
Jackson11906
Deschutes87312
Yamhill77414
Jefferson5458
Polk53515
Linn53213
Morrow5136
Lincoln48113
Union4462
Benton3286
Wasco2964
Klamath2902
Hood River2520
Douglas2434
Clatsop2210
Josephine2042
Columbia1841
Coos1600
Baker982
Crook631
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Lake340
Wallowa331
Curry320
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 819115

Reported Deaths: 15885
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2702996576
Riverside594051226
San Bernardino55203955
Orange537511268
San Diego47180783
Kern32073369
Fresno28621390
Sacramento22590416
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Santa Clara21379322
San Joaquin20411456
Contra Costa16793207
Stanislaus16512362
Tulare16204263
Ventura12875150
Imperial11908320
San Francisco11275104
Monterey1005073
San Mateo9990150
Santa Barbara9164113
Merced8961143
Kings768180
Sonoma7578122
Marin6734119
Solano644571
Madera458368
San Luis Obispo361231
Placer360448
Butte284844
Yolo282855
Santa Cruz239410
Napa172713
Sutter172011
San Benito135211
Yuba11728
El Dorado11514
Mendocino95418
Shasta94320
Lassen7410
Glenn5963
Tehama5855
Lake56611
Nevada5417
Colusa5356
Humboldt5128
Calaveras32214
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18815
Mono1662
Siskiyou1660
Del Norte1441
Mariposa762
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
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