Community Health Systems, a for profit hospital network operating hospitals across the nation announced today that hackers recently broke into its computers and stole data on 4.5 million patients.
Hackers broke into the company’s network and gained access to patient names, Social Security numbers, physical addresses, birthdays and telephone numbers.
Patients who received treatment from any of the company’s hospitals or were referred to the hospital by their doctor in the last five years is affected by this breach.
Data breaches of this size leave the former and current patients at risk of identity fraud. With the stolen data criminals can open bank accounts and credit cards or take out loans in the victims name and potentially destroy the victims personal credit history.
Community Health Systems operates hospitals in 28 states with most of their facilities located in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.
In response to the breach Community Health Systems () has enlisted the help of cybersecurity experts Mandiant to investigate the hack. Mandiant experts determined the hackers were in China and used highly sophisticated malware to launch the attacks in April and June this year.
FBI representatives said that the agency is working closely with the hospital network and “committing significant resources and efforts to target, disrupt, dismantle and arrest the perpetrators.”
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