July 25, 2006
MEDICAL DATA LEAKAGE:
The issue emerged when Perry configured a new laptop for a small doctors' office, and encountered problems downloading software updates for Medisoft. In search of a work-around, Perry dove into the software's components, where he found an internet address, a login name and a password for a server operated by InstantDx, a Medisoft partner.
Using the password, Perry connected to the server with a file transfer program and listed the contents of the directory -- hoping to find the software updates that prompted his digital sleuthing, he says. Confounded by the obscure file names that popped up, he executed a command that sucked down the entire contents of the directory -- which he describes as 2 GB of files.
When he looked at one of the files, titled GUHmedpts.csv, he was shocked to see thousands of entries for patients in the Washington, D.C., area -- far from his client's office. He Googled "GUH," found it was a common abbreviation for Georgetown University Hospital.
This sounds eerily like a plot device in an unpublished novel that I wrote with Fritz Fiedler. Are any members of Congress being blackmailed. . . .?