CHAPEL HILL DATA BREACH SPARKS WITCH HUNT
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill experienced a data breach approximately three years ago, but was first allegedly discovered in 2009. The data breach could have revealed more than 100,000 patients’ medical records. A cancer researcher, Bonnie C. Yankaskas, has been the focus of the university. Yankaskas is challenging the university’s decision to demote her and reduce her salary after a security breach in a medical study she directs was discovered.
Yankaskas says the university is responsible for the data breach and she is being made a scapegoat. University officials have been pressuring her to resign. Yankaskas is the lead investigator in the Carolina Mammography Registry, a university project that is part of a nationwide consortium that collects and analyzes mammography results.
Last year, medical-school technology officials discovered that a hacker had infiltrated one of the project’s two computer servers, which contained personal data, including names, addresses, and birth dates, of about 180,000 women. About 114,000 of those files included the patients’ Social Security numbers. The break-in happened in 2007 but was only discovered after Ms. Yankaskas reported having trouble with her server in 2009.