4.5 Million Patients’ Records Hacked in Major U.S. Hospital Breach

What happened?
Social Security numbers, names, addresses, birth dates and telephone numbers of 4.5 million people were stolen when hackers infiltrated the Community Health Systems, Inc. computer network. The organization, one of the largest U.S. hospital operators, announced the breach on Monday, August 18.

The organization and its security contractor, Mandiant, forensics unit of FireEye Inc., believe the attackers are based in China. The hackers used malware and other technology to copy and transfer the stolen data from the network in April or June 2014. The data includes patient information for those referred or treated in one of Community Health Systems’ facilities within the past five years.

Stolen data did not include patient credit card or specific medical information. However, the information could be used to attempt to access bank accounts or obtain pharmaceutical prescriptions.

What should you do?
As hospital breach victims are now at an increased risk of fraud, anyone who may have been impacted by this breach should be vigilant about minimizing fraud, including the following:

  • Check your credit report
  • Monitor your bank statements
  • Be on the look out for spam (Paying particular attention to any unusual communications you may receive as spammers may try to get more information from you.)

For customers who have fraud protection services powered by EZShield, we offer a variety of monitoring services to help reduce your risk of fraud.

View a map of hospitals in the Community Health Systems network.

Learn more about data breaches and how to protect your personal information in Fighting Identity Crimes’s Education Center.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of EZShield Inc. alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or entity, including specifically any person or entity affiliated with the distribution or display of this content.

John is General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer of Sontiq, the parent company of the EZShield and IdentityForce brands. He is a Certified Compliance...
Read more about John Burcham.

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