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Montana health department server hacked, 1.3 million to be notified


Montana officials said the state will notify 1.3 million people that hackers have gained access to its Department of Public Health and Human Services’ computer server, although there is no knowledge to date that information has been used inappropriately or accessed.

The department is notifying individuals whose personal identity information was on the server. The notification list includes both current and former Montana residents as well as, in some instances, deceased individuals, officials said Tuesday in a statement.

The state is also notifying individuals of free credit monitoring and free identity protection insurance.

“Out of an abundance of caution we are notifying those whose personal information could have been on the server,” department director Richard Opper said in a statement. “Again, we have no reports, nor do we have any evidence that anyone’s information was used in any way, or even accessed.”

An independent forensic investigation determined on May 22 that a department computer server had been hacked, the statement said. It added the investigation was ordered on May 15 when suspicious activity was first discovered, and that agency officials had immediately shut down the server and contacted law enforcement.

The department’s staff has been reviewing all files in recent weeks to determine who is to be notified, the statement said.

The information on the server included demographic information, such as names, addresses, date of birth and Social Security numbers, and may also have included information regarding department services clients applied for and/or received, among other data, the statement said.

South Carolina, announced in October 2012 that about 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 credit and debit card numbers were exposed in a cyber attack.