(KCPW News) The number of Utahns who could have had their data stolen in a cyberattack on a state government server continues to climb. Now, officials report 280,000 Social Security numbers were compromised, along with less sensitive data for 500,000 other people. And as State Medicaid Director Michael Hales explains, those numbers don’t just include residents who are already on Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
“As they continued to look on the server and weed out other information that wasn’t relevant, they did determine that there were Medicaid eligibility inquiries that were coming into the server, and those are essentially providers submitting a question to the database, saying ‘is this person eligible for Medicaid on this particular day?’” he explains.
The FBI has now launched an investigation into the attack, which is believed to come from somewhere in Eastern Europe.
Lincoln Nehring, Medicaid Policy Director of Voices for Utah Children, notes that one out of every ten Utahns has now potentially had their Social Security number stolen.
“This is not a Department of Health problem. This is not just about Medicaid and CHIP. This really is a problem that’s impacting all the citizens in the state,” says Nehring.
According to the Utah Department of Technology Services, the breach occurred because the server wasn’t properly configured. The state says two-thirds of Utah Medicaid recipients are children. The Utah Attorney General’s office is urging parents who are worried about their child’s identity being stolen to visit IDTheft.Utah.Gov.