Hackers access info on 34,000 Quest Diagnostics customers

Nearly 1/3 of clients whose data was stolen are from Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Quest Diagnostics said hackers have obtained health information of approximately 34,000 individuals. The company operates more than a dozen testing facilities in and around Jacksonville, and News4Jax found that 11,436 of those whose information was compromised were from Florida.

In a statement Monday, the New Jersey-based company said there was an unauthorized intrusion Nov. 26 into an internet application on its network. The hacked data included names, dates of birth, lab results and, in some instances, telephone numbers. The information did not include Social Security numbers, credit card information, insurance or other financial information.

The company says there is no indication that individuals' information has been misused in any way.

"I would not want my private information out there for anyone to see. That is concerning to me," Quest client Lacey Goodwin said. "I definitely hope this gets fixed for the well-being of myself and others."

Quest Diagnostics said it has notified affected individuals via mail. They have also set up a dedicated toll-free number to call with questions regarding this incident. The number is 888-320-9970, which is available 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Quest said it reported the data breach to law enforcement and it is working with a leading cybersecurity firm to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Ryan McDaniel, cybersecurity expert and vice president of security and technology for the HCI Group, which is a global health care IT consulting company based in Jacksonville, said medical records like these are among the most bought and sold items on the "dark web," -- the internet's black market.

"Your health record contains medicines you may take. If they want to assume your identity, then they may get prescriptions that you take" McDaniel said. "Simply put, I find it hard to believe that a single piece of this information was taken and is not going to be exploited for personal gain." 

He said the data breach is cause for concern, but not panic. He believes Quest executives will do everything they can to protect their clients.

"I think Quest will need to be very forthcoming with the information that was lost and what they recommend people do, because the onus is going to be on them," McDaniel said.

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