Medical Center Reveals 4.5-Year Data Leak

Server misconfiguration might have allowed unauthorized individuals access to patient data

December 4, 2020

MikeDotta /

Healthcare facilities nationwide, many of whom are already swamped with the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, are rethinking and reinforcing their operations in another crucial area – cybersecurity. But as even managers fend off new threats of phishing, botnets and ransomware comes a reminder that these challenges are hardly new.

Fairchild Medical Center (FMC) in Yreka, Calif., began notifying patients Nov. 25 of a misconfiguration on one of its servers that might have allowed unauthorized individuals access to patient data for about 4.5 years, according to Becker’s Hospital Review

A third-party security company unaffiliated with FMC alerted the medical center to the security issue in July; FMC then launched an investigation and hired computer specialists to secure the server. 

FMC determined that the misconfiguration existed from around Dec. 16, 2015, to July 31, 2020. The medical center said it cannot rule out unauthorized access to patient records that were present on the server during the time period.


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