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Armed Robbery Of Doctor Puts Brigham and Women's Patient Info At Risk

BOSTON (CBS) -- Hundreds of patients at Brigham and Women's Hospital had their information stolen when a doctor was held up at gunpoint.

The robbers forced the doctor to give his pass codes for cell phone and computer before taking the devices.

The doctor was robbed September 24. On that same night, police said a man was robbed by Jamaica Pond. The victim was tied to a tree and robbed at gunpoint of a laptop and phone. Police said the robbers also demanded access codes, but they will not confirm if it's the same victim.

Brigham and Women's said information belonging to 999 patients were on the devices. Most of the patients were treated at the hospitals' neurology and neurosurgery programs between October 2011 and September 2014.

The information included patient names, age, medications, diagnosis and treatment. The hospital says information not on the devices include social security numbers, insurance numbers and financial account information.

"It seems that the passwords that were given away were to access the computer itself," security expert Robert Siciliano of Hotspot Shield said. "Now the data, the medical information very well could still be encrypted, which means the bad guy just may not have access to it.

The hospital said all affected patients were notified.

"We apologize for any inconvenience and deeply regret any concern this situation may cause our patients," said Dr. Cedric Priebe, chief information officer at the hospital. "We have no knowledge that the information on these devices has been accessed, and we are reviewing related policies and procedures in an effort to determine if there are steps that may decrease the likelihood of this type of incident in the future."

Any patients with questions can call 855-732-6640.


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