Skip to main content

Originally published Friday, November 29, 2013 at 8:00 PM

  • Share:
  • Comments (33)
  • Print

UW Medicine alerts 90,000 patients on stolen data

Patient information and some Social Security numbers were stolen from UW Medicine patients in a malware attack in October.

Seattle Times higher education reporter

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
It took them almost 2 months to notify people about the effects of a 1 day attack? MORE
Of course,, why expect anything else.... MORE
It would be interesting to see the email with the malware attachment. Interesting as... MORE


UW Medicine has started notifying about 90,000 of its patients that medical information was stolen during a malware attack last month, including 15,000 cases in which Social Security numbers may have been taken.

The attack happened when a UW Medicine employee opened an email attachment that contained malicious software, or malware, on Oct. 2.

UW Medicine — which includes UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center — discovered the attack the following day and shut it down, said UW Medicine spokeswoman Tina Mankowski.

It has taken more than a month to analyze the activity and figure out which patients are most at risk of identity theft, she said. The UW believes that the people behind the malware were not seeking or targeting medical information.

Because Social Security numbers and other identifying information may have been stolen, the UW is offering a free credit-monitoring service for a period of time for those patients who might be at greatest risk of identity theft.

In other cases, only the patient’s name, medical-record number, service dates and charge amounts were stolen. Those patients also received a letter about the attack, but were told that “the potential risk of identity theft is very low.”

Mankowski said it’s UW policy that if more than 500 accounts are compromised in an identity-theft attempt, the UW reports the incident to the media.

The incident is also being investigated by the FBI.

Katherine Long: 206-464-2219 or On Twitter @katherinelong.

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Time to add another piece to your Hawks collection

Time to add another piece to your Hawks collection

Check out the full lineup of championship merchandise from The Seattle Times store.


Partner Video


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►