Calgary Medical Clinic System Hit by a Virus

Numerous patients associated with a clinic of University of Calgary, namely Sunridge Medical Clinic at CALGARY, Alberta, Canada, are being cautioned that as a computer virus exploited a medical database, there is a possibility that their personal health details could have been compromised.

Reportedly, after the incident, the University dispatched notifications to approximately 5,000 people, telling them about a possible risk to their private health details.

Explaining the incident in detail, Head of the Department of family medicine, Dr. Cathy MacLean at Sunridge, stated that two separate varieties of viruses attacked the clinic's system. The first one can shut the system down, and the second one can enable hackers to access or control information remotely. These viruses hit the PC which was kept at the University's Sunridge Medical Clinic, Dr. MacLean said, according to a statement published by Vancouversun.com on March 17, 2010.

It was during January 2010 that the clinic staff observed some difficulty for the first time when a computer showed working problems. On calling an IT group, the viruses came to light, MacLean added.

Spokesman Wayne Wood for the Information and Privacy Commissioner's Office of Alberta stated that an official investigation into this latest security breach is already on, according to a statement published by Calgarysun.com published March 17, 2010.

The Clinic's officials observed that the infected PC contained medical reports, faxes, names, health care numbers, as well as billing data.

Meanwhile, due to the data hack, affected patients have become furious.

Puzzled, on account of the lack of responsibility by the Clinic, an affected patient named Elaine Peters stated that she felt uneasy at knowing that her private details could be attacked, according to a statement published by Calgaryherald.com on March 17, 2010.

Ms. Peters even thinks of formally complaining to the Office of Privacy Commissioner.

Alberta patients becoming affected with this kind of incidence isn't something new.

During 2008, according to MacLean, a few patients at Sunridge encountered a breach of privacy when another computer across the University of Calgary's intranet inadvertently accessed a patient data file. The PC sharing that file wasn't sufficiently secured, according to yet another statement published by Calgaryherald.com on March 17, 2010.

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