Community Health Systems breach may impact more than four million patients

Share this article:
Texas health system attacked, data on more than 400K compromised
The attackers were said to be Chinese and used malware that has since been removed, according to an Associated Press report.

The personal information of more than four million patients may be at risk after an attacker hacked into the computer network of hospital operator Community Health Systems sometime in April and June, according to reports.

The Tennessee-based company announced on Monday that names, addresses, birthdates, phone numbers and Social Security numbers may have been compromised, a Monday Associated Press (AP) report indicates.

Community Health Systems owns, operates and leases 206 hospitals in 29 states – including in California, Florida, New York and Texas – and the possibly compromised data relates to patients who were seen by doctors associated with the organization, according to the AP report.

The attacker is believed to be Chinese and used malware to compromise the Community Health Systems computer network, the AP report indicates, adding that the malware has since been removed and other measures are being taken to prevent any similar incidents from happening again.

Further details are sparse, and Community Health Systems did not respond to multiple SCMagazine.com requests for information.

In a Monday email correspondence, Larry Whiteside, CISO with Lower Colorado River Authority, told SCMagazine.com that one possible attack vector is credentials being stolen in a phishing incident, which he explained would give the attacker remote email access.

“Then that attacker [could have] used that legitimate email to send malware to people internally from a “trusted” user,” Whiteside said. “Those users [may have] unknowingly opened that trusted email and attachment, or URL, and became infected with malware.”

Another possible scenario could have involved the use of a malware-infected USB device being connected to a computer on the network, Whiteside said, explaining that, either way, the attacker was likely able to get credentials to someone with access to the electronic medical record system.

Page 1 of 2
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of SC Magazine to post a comment.

Sign up to our newsletters

TOP COMMENTS

More in News

Email promises free pizza, ensnares victims in Asprox botnet instead

Email promises free pizza, ensnares victims in Asprox ...

Cloudmark came upon an email that offers free pizza, but clicking on the link to get the coupon ends with victims being ensnared in a botnet.

Report: most orgs lacking in response team, policies to address cyber incidents

In its Q3 threat intelligence report, Solutionary learned that 75 percent of organizations it assisted had no response team or policies and procedures to address cyber incidents.

Flash redirect campaign impacts Carnegie Mellon page, leads to Angler EK

Flash redirect campaign impacts Carnegie Mellon page, leads ...

Malwarebytes found that, since early July, thousands of sites had been targeted in the campaign.