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4.5 million records stolen from hospital network

Aug 23, 2014 // Andrew Stroup

The hospital network Community Health Systems announced it was hacked on Monday, which has led to 4.5 million patients data being stolen. The hospital network operates 206 hospitals across 28 states in the United States and the hackers gained access to names, social security numbers, physical addresses, birthdays, and telephone numbers.

The impact is huge as anyone who received treatment from a physician’s office tied to a network-owned hospital in the last five years, or was merely referred there by an outside doctors, is affected. This means the hackers could have access to bank accounts, credit cards, and even be able to take out loans, ruining personal credit histories for the affected.

Community Health Systems is currently working with Mandiant (cybersecurity experts) regarding the recent attack and have determined the attack came from China using high-end, sophisticated malware to launch the attacks sometime in April and June. Additionally, the FBI is working closely with the hospital network and “committing significant resources and efforts to target, disrupt, dismantle and arrest the perpetrators.”

The hospital network has announced it plans to offer identity theft protection to the 4.5 million victims of the data breach and provide more public information as the investigation continues.