A Internet worm potentially exposed the personal information of 176,567 individuals, including that of VCU Health System and Virginia Commonwealth University employees and students, according to updated information VCU posted Saturday. An Internet worm infected two servers last month, allowing an intruder to access one server for nearly an hour and another server for 16 minutes the following day. The data breach was discovered on Oct. 24 during routine monitoring of servers. Data items at risk included Social Security numbers, individual names or ID user names, and, in some cases, dates of birth, contact information, and various departmental information. VCU said it believes it is unlikely the intruders accessed or copied the identity data, but its investigation is unable to determine with 100 percent certainty whether any sensitive information was accessed.
The recent hospital and health system data breaches highlight the importance of security measures when dealing with electronic information. VCU notification statement