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Kroger advises customers of a data breach affecting pharmacy and Little Clinic

Chris Mayhew, Cincinnati Enquirer
·2 min read
People are lined up at a Kroger in Blue Ash, Ohio, as the doors open at 7 a.m. March 17, 2020. Because of high demand and the need for restocking and cleanliness, the chain reduced hours.
People are lined up at a Kroger in Blue Ash, Ohio, as the doors open at 7 a.m. March 17, 2020. Because of high demand and the need for restocking and cleanliness, the chain reduced hours.

The Kroger chain advised customers of its pharmacy and Little Clinic of a data security breach in which patient names and personal information was illegally accessed.

The breach, which Kroger was notified of Jan. 23, did not affect grocery store data or Kroger IT data, according to a company news release. The company created a website for information about the breach at https://www.kroger.com/i/accellion-incident.

The Cincinnati-based grocery chain offered free credit monitoring to anyone affected by the data breach.

Information accessed included the following data:

  • Patient names.

  • Email addresses.

  • Phone numbers.

  • Home addresses.

  • Dates of birth.

  • Social Security numbers.

  • Information used to process insurance claims.

  • Prescription information such as number, prescribing doctor, medication names and dates, medical history, as well as certain clinical services, such as whether the patient was ordered a flu test.

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Kroger said an unauthorized person gained access to Accellion, a software company used by Kroger, to securely transfer files.

The unknown person accessed Kroger files by exploiting a vulnerability in the transfer service, according to the news release.

Kroger stopped using Accellion's services after being informed of the incident.

The grocery company started its own forensic investigation into the potential scope and impact of the data breach.

Kroger said the incident affected beneficiaries under its Health and Welfare Benefit Plan and Retiree Health and Welfare Benefit Plan.

Potentially affected customers are in the process of being contacted by Kroger.

The data breach potentially affects the Little Clinic and Kroger Pharmacies, as well as pharmacies operated by Ralphs Grocery and Fred Meyer Stores.

The affiliated pharmacies possibly affected include Jay C Food Stores, Dillon Companies, Baker’s, City Market, Gerbes, King Soopers, Quality Food Centers, Roundy’s Supermarkets, Copps Food Center, Mariano’s Metro Market, Pick N Save, Harris Teeter, Smith’s Food and Drug, Fry’s Food Stores, Healthy Options, Postal Prescription Services and Kroger Specialty Pharmacy Holdings.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Kroger warns customers of data breach of prescription, patient details