COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS DATA BREACH AFFECTS FOUR SOUTH CAROLINA HOSPITALS
Community Health Systems (CHS), one of the largest hospital management companies in the South, is reporting a data breach that could affect as many as 4.5 million patients, many of whom were treated at four of CHS's eight South Carolina facilities. Among the hospitals that have been affected are:
- Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center in Hartsville
- Marlboro Park Hospital in Bennettsville
- Carolinas Hospital System in Marion
- Carolinas Hospital System in Florence
CNN Money is reporting that "[a]nyone 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 doctor—is affected." The report continues to state that the hackers are of Chinese origin and used a sophisticated form of malware to breach the healthcare provider's security systems. The attack was launched sometime between April and June of this year.
What Information Was Taken During the CHS Cyber Attack?
CHS has assured patients that no medical or credit card data was procured by the hackers. The information that was obtained, however, could be used to commit acts of identity theft against CHS patients. This includes names, social security numbers, addresses, and other personal information that could be used by the hackers or sold to third parties to open lines of credit and order items via the Internet.
How Should CHS Patients Protect Their Identities?
The attorneys of South Carolina's Jernigan Law Firm, P.A. recommend that anyone who has been treated at a CHS facility at anytime in the past five years or been treated by a doctor who is connected with the network subscribe to a credit reporting service that routinely checks for new accounts being opened in their clients' names. If you are part of the at risk group and you note suspicious activity on your credit report or on any existing charge cards, notify the lender immediately; then, contact your local law enforcement agency to obtain an incident report.
If you have any legal questions about this security breach or have suffered damages due to your identity being stolen in the CHS cyber attack, contact the Florence, SC office of the Jernigan Law Firm, P.A. Our number is 843-407-3067.