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Dental company for low-income Oregonians reports data breach

REDMOND — A company with more than 30 dental clinics serving low-income people in Oregon says it's been hacked, and the intruders got Social Security numbers and other personal information, but not treatment or financial data.

Advantage Dental, of Redmond, is notifying patients and paying for an identity-theft monitoring service, The Bulletin newspaper of Bend reported Tuesday.

An intruder breached its internal membership database in late February and accessed information on more than 151,000 patients, said Jeff Dover, Advantage's compliance manager.

He said malware got a username and password from an employee's computer for access to the membership database, which is separate from the database that contains financial and treatment information.

The intruder accessed the information for three days beginning Feb. 23, and then Advantage workers detected the breach.

All Advantage computers are equipped with anti-virus software, but sometimes software does not detect new variations of a virus, he said.

"Unfortunately this happened," he said. "What you can do is be as transparent as you can, take responsibility for it, learn from it and then move on."

No patients have reported the data being used for criminal activity.

Dover said Advantage made security changes, including shutting off access to its internal patient database from computers that are not within Advantage clinics or its headquarters in Redmond.