More than 4.5 Million patient records were compromised by a data breach disclosed this week by Community Health Systems, which operates 9 hospitals in Illinois. Three of the impacted hospitals in the Chicago area included Metro South Medical Center in Blue Island, Vista Medical Center and Vista Medical Center West in Waukegan.
According to the SEC filing made by CHS earlier this week, the data breached allegedly was limited to names, addresses, birthdates, telephone numbers and social security numbers for the breached individuals. The company believes the attack took place beginning as early as April of 2014 and continued through June of 2014.
CHS is notifying the impacted individuals and is offering credit protection services to those individuals whose information was compromised. CHS’s report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission disclosing the breach indicated that the source of the attack was Chinese hackers.
Federal authorities identified this group as one that typically seeks intellectual property. The report stated, “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.”
The data breach is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), since it included patient names, birthdates, telephone numbers and social security numbers for the impacted individuals.
CHS claims no wrongdoing on their part and has sought to mitigate the impact of the compromise. The company claims it has insurance coverage for cyber and privacy liability breaches such as this. CHS retained a cyber intrusion investigation firm to assist with researching and remediating the data breach once it was discovered.
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