Community Health Systems says 4.5 million patients' data stolen in cyber attack (updated)
U.S. hospital operator Community Health Systems Inc said it suspected personal data, including patient names and addresses, of about 4.5 million people were stolen by Chinese hackers from its computer network during April and June.
The company said the data, considered protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, included patient names, addresses, birth dates, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers. It did not include patient credit card or medical information, Community Health Systems said in a regulatory filing.
Read more on Fox Business.
If this is news to you, well, it’s also news to me, as I don’t recall seeing any press release from CHS, and can find no substitute notice on their web site.
In their SEC Form 8-K filing of August 8, they report:
In July 2014, Community Health Systems, Inc. (the “Company”) confirmed that its computer network was the target of an external, criminal cyber attack that the Company believes occurred in April and June, 2014. The Company and its forensic expert, Mandiant (a FireEye Company), believe the attacker was an “Advanced Persistent Threat” group originating from China who used highly sophisticated malware and technology to attack the Company’s systems. The attacker was able to bypass the Company’s security measures and successfully copy and transfer certain data outside the Company. Since first learning of this attack, the Company has worked closely with federal law enforcement authorities in connection with their investigation and possible prosecution of those determined to be responsible for this attack. The Company also engaged Mandiant, who has conducted a thorough investigation of this incident and is advising the Company regarding remediation efforts. Immediately prior to the filing of this Report, the Company completed eradication of the malware from its systems and finalized the implementation of other remediation efforts that are designed to protect against future intrusions of this type. The Company has been informed by federal authorities and Mandiant that this intruder has typically sought valuable intellectual property, such as medical device and equipment development data. However, in this instance the data transferred was non-medical patient identification data related to the Company’s physician practice operations and affected approximately 4.5 million individuals who, in the last five years, were referred for or received services from physicians affiliated with the Company. The Company has confirmed that this data did not include patient credit card, medical or clinical information; the data is, however, considered protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) because it includes patient names, addresses, birthdates, telephone numbers and social security numbers. The Company is providing appropriate notification to affected patients and regulatory agencies as required by federal and state law. The Company will also be offering identity theft protection services to individuals affected by this attack. The Company carries cyber/privacy liability insurance to protect it against certain losses related to matters of this nature. While this matter may result in remediation expenses, regulatory inquiries, litigation and other liabilities, at this time, the Company does not believe this incident will have a material adverse effect on its business or financial results.
If you have received, or receive, a notification letter from them, please consider forwarding a copy to this site at admin[at]phiprivacy[dot]net.
Update: Here’s a template of the patient notification letter which I found today on the California Attorney General’s website.