Community Health Systems Inc, one of the largest hospital groups in the United States, said on Monday that it was the victim of a cyber attack from China that resulted in the theft of personal information on 4.5 million patients.
The information stolen included patient names, addresses, birth dates, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers of people who were referred or received services from doctors affiliated with the hospital group in the last five years, Reuters quoted the group as saying in a regulatory filing.
The stolen data did not include medical or clinical information, credit card numbers, or any intellectual property such as data on medical device development, it said.
Community Health has 206 hospitals in 29 states in the US.
The attack is the largest of its type involving patient information since a US Department of Health and Human Services website started tracking such breaches in 2009, Reuters noted.
Security experts were quoted as saying that a hacking group known as “APT 18″, which may have links to the Chinese government, could be behind the attack.
– Contact us at [email protected]