Officials from Manitowoc County have released additional information about the data breach that occurred earlier this year. According to the release, sometime around January 14th, an unauthorized third party was able to gain access to one Manitowoc County email account most likely through what is called a “phishing” attack. This email phishing attack allowed an unauthorized third party to direct emails to an email account not operated by Manitowoc County. Some of those emails included personal information of individuals the county has provided services to. Immediately after becoming aware of the incident, Manitowoc County’s Information Systems Department secured their information technology system so that the unauthorized party no longer had access. Officials also obtained legal counsel, began a review of the disclosure, and contacted forensics experts to determine what information had been disclosed.
The information that was disclosed was protected health information, which may have included: first name, last name, address, date of birth, phone number, email address, health insurance information, diagnoses, prescription information, client identification number, or other information related to your treatment. At this point, they are not aware of any misuse of the personal information that was disclosed,
The County took action to investigate the incident once it was discovered, and promptly engaged legal and forensics experts to assist in the investigation. Manitowoc County is also assessing further options to enhance their controls and make additional investments in protocols, technology, and training to make sure a similar issue does not occur in the future. Manitowoc County sent individual notices to all affected individuals for whom they had updated contact information on file.
The County ended the release with an apology, and said those who wish for further information and assistance, can contact the Manitowoc County Corporation Counsel, Peter Conrad, at (888) 811-5636 between 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.