due to some 'problem' with the scanning/developing service for this particular batch of film I sent, the white specks became GREATER in QUANTITY and more WIDESPREAD across the neg. previous dev/scan dont have, only have 1 or 2 inconspicuous specks.
Looks like dust to me. I don't think it is due to any kind of numerical processing, the shapes of the spots are way too irregular.
Also, the "texture" of the scan looks a bit strange, resembling colour printing rasters. If you hadn't told us it's a scan from a negative, I would have guessed it's a scan from a book/magazine page - and the white stains would be dust and/or abrasion on the original.
I'm not scanning negatives, so I cannot really comment. In the pre-digital enlarger days, one would try to keep the film, the negative stage, and the paper clean (soft brushes, clean compressed air) to get the number of dust particles down and, if necessary, retouch the prints.
If the dust doesn't come off the negative easily, it might be partially embedded into the film gelatin. Attempts to remove it from the dry film might cause more damage. Also, the dust might be in the scanner. To find out, one could compare scans from different frames in the film and see how similar the dust patterns are.