Feeds

Prime Minister's health records breached in database attack

Scottish rich and powerful victimized

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Personal medical records belonging to Scotland's rich and powerful - including Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Holyrood's First Minister Alex Salmond - have been illegally accessed in a breach of a national database that holds details of 2.5 million people.

The files contained names, ages, addresses, and occupations of the patients, in addition to medical information such as a list of any current medications and allergies to medicines, according to The Sunday Mail. The records of BBC newswoman Jackie Bird (an earlier version of this story mistakenly referred to her as "newsman") and former Labour leader Jack McConnell and his culture chief wife Bridget were also accessed.

The files were part of the Emergency Care Summary system database, which was established three years ago amid guarantees by the NHS that it was protected using the "highest standards of security." NHS staff generally have to ask patients' permission before reading records except when a patient is unconscious or otherwise unable to give consent.

An NHS Fife doctor has been charged with contravention of the Data Protection Act in the case and appeared on petition at Dunfermline in late December. He made no plea or declaration and isn't scheduled to appear again in court until later this year.

Government officials quoted by The Sunday Mail said the breach didn't appear to be motivated by financial gain and that the only thing linking the victims was that they were famous or had a high public profile.

It's at least the second security breach to personally hit a British government official in as many weeks. UK Justice Secretary Jack Straw recently saw his Hotmail account ransacked by advanced fee fraudsters, who used it to send his contacts a scam email claiming he was in desperate need of financial assistance after being stranded in Nigeria. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New twist as rogue antivirus enters death throes
That's not the website you're looking for
ISIS terror fanatics invade Diaspora after Twitter blockade
Nothing we can do to stop them, says decentralized network
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.