Computer system of company that owns MCSO hacked

August 18, 2014

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — Hospital operator Community Health Systems said a cyberattack took information on more than 4 million patients from its computer network earlier this year.

The Franklin, Tennessee, company said Monday that no medical or credit card records were taken in the attack, which may have happened in April and June. But Community said the attack did bypass its security systems to take patient names, addresses, birthdates, and phone and Social Security numbers.

The company owns the Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma in Durant. According to MCSO, no records were stolen from the local hospital and the cyberattack only affected company clinics, not hospitals.

“The CHS Security Breach did not include any hospital information from Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma or Integris Marshall County Medical Center in Madill, the company said, in an email. “The original announcement was only listing those facilities that are owned by CHS. Only some CHS employed clinics were jeopardized, but not any of our local facilities were included in that breach.”

The hospital operator said it believes the attack came from a group in China that used sophisticated malware and technology to get the information. Community Health has since removed the malware from its system and finalized “other remediation efforts” to prevent future attacks.

A spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request from The Associated Press seeking comment on the attacks.

The information that was taken came from patients who were referred to or received care from doctors tied to the company over the past five years.

Community Health Systems Inc. is notifying patients affected by the attack and offering them identity theft protection services. The company owns, leases or operates 206 hospitals in 29 states.

The attack follows other high-profile data security problems that have hit retailers like the e-commerce site eBay and Target Corp. Last year, hackers stole from Target about 40 million debit and credit card numbers and personal information for 70 million people.

Shares of Community Health climbed 38 cents to $51.38 late Monday morning, while broader trading indexes also rose less than 1 percent.

Community Health Systems, Inc. is an operator of general acute care hospitals, according to the company’s website. The organization’s affiliates own, operate or lease 206 hospitals in 29 states with approximately 31,100 licensed beds. Affiliated hospitals are dedicated to providing quality healthcare for local residents and contribute to the economic development of their communities. Based on the unique needs of each community served, these hospitals offer a wide range of diagnostic, medical and surgical services in inpatient and outpatient settings.

MCSO is a 148-bed facility serving serving Bryan, Choctaw, Atoka, Johnston and Marshall Counties. MCSO offers a full range of medical services and procedures to patients in the region and is one of the largest tax-paying entities in Bryan County with a total economic impact exceeding $85 million, according to the MCSO website. MCSO opened in 1987, replacing the Bryan Memorial Hospital.

MCSO is home to a Trauma Level III Emergency Room, fully-digital Diagnostic Imaging center, 20,000 square-foot Women’s Center, Wound Care & Hyperbarics Center, “New Visions” Medical Stabilization program, Home Health Services, inpatient and outpatient surgical Services, physical therapy and more.

The Durant Daily Democrat contributed to this story