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FARMINGTON – Participants in San Juan County DWI treatment programs may have had their personal information stolen when a county computer was hacked earlier this year, according to press release issued today.

The breach occurred March 18 and could affect as many as 12,000 people, County Attorney Doug Echols said. Hackers had access to a computer at the treatment center for less than 30 minutes, and Echols said officials aren't certain if the names, addresses and health records inside the system were, in fact, stolen. As a precautionary measure, the county is providing free credit monitoring services to affected individuals. Officials fear the information could be used to open credit card and bank accounts.

Echols said the county has hired a forensic firm to investigate the hack, but researchers were not able to trace the act to a particular individual or organization. Echols said the county has $50,000 in insurance coverage for data breaches, and he doesn’t expect response efforts to exceed that amount.

Echols said notifications have been mailed to affected individuals, but he urged people who think they might have been affected to call 505-334-4508.

A national health information privacy act requires organizations to issue notifications within 60 days of a large data breach.

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