Local/State

Potential security breach at Cooper Univ. Hospital

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A thumb drive that contained personal data about current and past graduate medical education residents and fellows at Cooper University Hospital has gone missing. Hospital sources tell Action News the thumb drive went missing on July 8th.

Last Friday the hospital reported the incident to the NJ State Police Cyber Crimes unit and Tuesday to Camden Police who are now looking into the potential security breach.

"We are going to investigate to see if it was stolen or lost property," said Lt. Jason Pike.

Stolen or lost, both scenarios are cause for concern according to Drexel University's Robert D'Ovidio, Ph.D. because you cannot be absolutely certain the information won't fall in the wrong hands. It's information that hospital sources say includes Social Security numbers, addresses, and phone numbers.

"That data is a goldmine for lines of credit in your name," said D'Ovidio.

Making matters worse, the hospital source tells Action News the data on the thumb drive was not secure.

Cooper refused an interview but released the following statement:

"Cooper University Hospital is investigating the circumstances surrounding a missing thumb drive. The thumb drive contained information with personal data about graduate medical education residents and fellows for the current and prior academic years. We have advised the residents and fellows who were advised to contact their local police. No other employee information was compromised. Further, No patient information or records were compromised. The incident was reported to the New Jersey State Police Cyber Crimes Unit on Friday, July 23 as per the state notification procedure. The hospital is conducting a thorough investigation and has initiated an aggressive plan to protect any personnel who could be affected by this potential security breach."

D'Ovidio advises the residents and fellows to file a police report.

Cooper tells Action News they've notified the affected residents and fellows and advised them to call the police. It's still early in the investigation, but Camden police say they will be reviewing security tapes to see if that will shed some light on what happened to that drive.

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new jersey, camden, cooper university hospital, local/state, katherine scott
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