171,000 patients exposed after hackers breach Illinois physician group emails

Metro Infectious Disease Consultants began notifying 171,740 patients that their data may have been exposed when hackers breached their employee email accounts, according to data reported to HHS Aug. 16.

Five details:

  1. The physician group encompasses more than 100 infectious disease physicians in the Chicagoland area.

  2. It discovered on June 24 that individuals' personal information may have been accessed when hackers breached employee email accounts, according to a news release.

  3. The physician group searched the breached email accounts to determine which individuals may have been affected. Exposed protected health information may include names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, medical-related data and more.

  4. The physician group said it promptly contained the incident and secured the email accounts to prevent further access and hired a security firm to determine the scope of the breach and find ways to enhance security.

  5. The physician group said it would offer identity theft protection and credit-monitoring services for individuals whose driver's license numbers or Social Security numbers were exposed.

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