UNM Health alerts patients about major cybersecurity attack

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — One of New Mexico’s largest health care providers is warning hundreds of thousands of its patients that their personal information may have been hacked.

UNM Health, including UNM Hospital, UNM Medical Group, Inc., and UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center, Inc., is alerting patients following a major cybersecurity attack.

The healthcare provider is now sending a letter to patients whose personal information may have been hacked.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights, 637,232 patients are affected.

UNM Health announced the massive security breach with a video statement posted on its website last month.

"The investigation determined that an unauthorized third party gained access to our network and may have accessed or obtained certain files from our systems", said Michael Richards, Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs.

UNM Health says compromised information could include patient names, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, medical record or patient identification numbers, health insurance information, and even limited clinical information.

Electronic medical records were not accessed.

"We have no indication that any of this information has been misused," said Richards.

UNM Health says the hack happened on May 2, but they didn’t realize it until a month later on June 4.

UNM Health then waited more than two more months before posting a public notice on its website announcing the hack on Aug. 3.

"To help prevent something like this from happening again in the future we have provided additional education to our staff and are continuing to take steps to enhance the security of our system and the information that we maintain," said Richards.

UNM Health is now offering a free year of credit monitoring for patients affected.

UNM Health declined an on-camera interview with KOB 4 on Friday and instead shared this brief statement:

"UNM Health is notifying all affected patients. Patients with questions are encouraged to contact the dedicated, toll-free call center, available at (855) 623-1973, for more information."