Missouri warns of data breach involving Medicaid recipients
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The Missouri Department of Social Services is warning of a cyber attack that may have compromised the identities of thousands of people.
The department identified a data security issue that happened with IBM Consulting in May 2023. IBM provides services to the Department of Social Services, which is in charge of the state’s Medicaid services.
It is possible that the issue allowed unauthorized people to access the personal information of Medicaid participants.
The state said it took immediate steps to protect the personal information of the people it helps. DSS said its response is ongoing.
DSS said IBM notified it of the issue on June 2.
IBM applied software fixes and stopped using the application involved in the data breach while it investigates the issue.
At this point, IBM said it hasn’t found any DSS systems that were impacted by the breach, but monitoring will continue.
On June 13, IBM notified the state that DSS should presume that hackers accessed certain files. DSS determined that the files may have contained personal health information of Medicaid participants.
The state is working to analyze specific information. Individuals who may be impacted will receive a letter telling them how to take steps to protect their personal information.
The notice contains information regarding this security incident, what actions DSS is taking in response to this incident, provides information on how Missourians can obtain a free credit report, and steps they can take to monitor their credit and accounts.
DSS is continuing to investigate this incident.
DSS warns the information accessed during the breach may include information such as names, a client number, date of birth, and medical claims information.
The department says it is taking time to analyze which information was involved in the breach because the files are large, they are not in plain English, and they are not easily readable.
ACTIONS TO TAKE
Missourians who believe their personal information may be compromised can do several things to protect their identity.
The state suggests freezing credit for free. The step prevents others from opening new accounts and borrowing money in the victim’s name. You will still be allowed to use current credit cards and bank accounts.
DSS also suggests Missourians review or monitor their credit reports.
That can be done from the three major reporting services:
Anyone with specific questions or information that their information may be compromised is asked to call a company called IDX at (888) 220-4761. The call center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., CST, Monday through Friday, except major U.S. holidays.
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