KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

How Chinese Hackers Stole Patient Data

The hackers exploited 'Heartbleed' -- a hole in widely used data-protection technology -- to steal data on 4.5 million patients of Community Health Systems, according to Bloomberg News. Another report looks at why your medical information might be vulnerable.

Bloomberg: Heartbleed Flaw Said Used By Chinese In Hospital Hacking
Chinese hackers exploited the Heartbleed Web-security flaw to steal data on 4.5 million patients of Community Health Systems Inc. (CYH), the first known breach of a company by use of the vulnerability, said a person involved in the investigation. Community Health, the second-biggest for-profit U.S. hospital chain, said Aug. 18 that thieves stole patients’ Social Security numbers, names and addresses, without revealing how the hackers got in. The person involved with the probe wasn’t authorized to comment publicly and requested anonymity. The group suspected of being responsible for the attack has a history of stealing intellectual property from health-care companies, and security specialists said it’s unusual for such thieves to turn to personal data (Strohm, 8/20).

Kaiser Health News: Are Your Medical Records Vulnerable To Theft?
A decade ago almost all doctors kept paper charts on every patient. That is changing quickly as laptops become as common as stethoscopes in exam rooms. Recent hacking attacks have raised questions about how safe that data may be. Here are some frequently asked questions about this evolution underway in American medicine and the government programs sparking the change (Whitney, 8/21).

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