If you’ve been to the hospital within the last five years, the latest incidence of national cyber attack just may affect you. Earlier today, Community Health Systems announced that its systems were hacked, compromising the information of 4.5 million patients.
Community Health Systems is one of the nation’s largest hospital networks, with 206 hospitals in 29 states.
The data breach affects anyone treated by a physician connected to the Community Health Systems network in the last five years.
In a statement to Reuters, an official of CHS said it was too soon to confirm what group was behind the attack.
“While attribution of this incident is still being determined by a range of partners, we caution against leaping to premature conclusions about who or how many actors are behind these activities,” said the official.
However, the Chicago Tribune reports that Tomi Galin, spokeswoman for Community Health Systems, said the company has reason to believe a group of hackers from China may be the cause.
Medical and clinical information was not stolen, but according to CHS’ regulatory filing the stolen information includes patient names, birth dates, addresses, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers. These are all pieces of information that put the 4.5 million affected patients at risk for identity theft.
Following the attack ,Community Health Systems has removed the malware from its systems and is taking steps to ensure another attack does not happen. They are notifying all patients, as required by law, and similar to Target who had a huge data breach earlier this year, CHS also plans to offer identity theft protection to the millions affected.
To see an interactive map of hospitals in the Community Health Systems network, click here.