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Patient information possibly accessed during data breach at LA County Department of Mental Health

CBS News Live
CBS News Los Angeles Live

The Los Angeles Department of Mental Health notified some of their clients after their personal information may have been accessed during a data breach two months ago. 

It happened on March 20 when a LACDMH employee clicked on a phishing email, compromising their account. The department said the employee had a confidential client and patient information in those accounts. 

LACDMH said it immediately enlisted the help of a "nationally recognized forensic firm" to determine what had been accessed and downloaded. After a day of investigating, the firm found that there were emails or attachments that continued names and one or more of the following: date of birth, address, telephone number, Social Security number and medical record number. 

LACDMH said it's not clear if any of the information was accessed but contacted the affected people via mail. The department did not have addresses for some of the affected clients but guaranteed they would contact everyone affected. 

Anyone concerned about the data breach should call (888) 217-0379 for help. Those anxious that their information may have been accessed during the phishing attack should visit the department's website. Officials also provided steps to protect personal information.

"LACDMH regrets any inconvenience this incident may have caused," the department stated. "To help prevent something like this from happening again, LACDMH has implemented additional safeguards and technical security measures to further enhance the security of its computer systems."

Phishing is a cyber-attack in which people use false communications to trick victims into downloading malware.

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