Two area hospitals caught up in massive data breach - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Two area hospitals caught up in massive data breach

(Source: www.chs.net) (Source: www.chs.net)
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Community Health Systems, which operates Lake Area Medical Center in Lake Charles and Byrd Regional in Leesville, has been the victim of a massive data breach.

On Monday, the company announced personal information on more than 4 million patients was taken during cyber attacks in April and June.

The stolen information includes Social Security numbers, patient names, addresses, phone numbers and birth dates. No medical or credit card information was compromised, the company said.

Any patient seen at clinics affiliated with Lake Area Physicians practices over the past five years may have been affected by the data breach.

Patients who received care and hospital services at Lake Area Medical Center are not affected, according to Lisa Guerrero, director of marketing for Lake Area Medical Center.

"Limited personal identification data belonging to some patients who were seen at physician practices and clinics affiliated with Lake Area Medical Center over the past five years was transferred out of our organization in a criminal cyber attack by a foreign-based intruder," Guerrero said. "We take very seriously the security and confidentiality of private patient information and we sincerely regret any concern or inconvenience to patients. Though we have no reason to believe that this data would ever be used, all affected patients are being notified by letter and offered free identity theft protection."

A call center has been established to assist patients who receive a notification letter. The toll-free number is 1-855-205-6951. For additional questions, contact the Lake Area Medical Center at 337-475-4102.

Community Health Systems said the intruder was a foreign-based group out of China that was likely looking for intellectual property.

"The intruder used highly sophisticated methods to bypass security systems," Community Health Systems said. "The intruder has been eradicated and applications have been deployed to protect against future attacks. We are working with federal law enforcement authorities in their investigation and will support prosecution of those responsible for this attack."

Lake Area Medical Center changed its name from Women's and Children Hospital in late January.

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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