Hackers steal California hospital's website domain, email addresses

Sonoma (Calif.) Valley Hospital was forced to change the name of its website URL and email addresses after its domain, svh.com, was hijacked Aug. 6, Sonoma Index-Tribune reports.

After SVH realized it would not regain possession over the domain, it began transferring all internet connectivity to its new domain: sonomavalleyhospital.org and @sonomavalleyhospital.org.

SVH was fully transferred to the new domain by Aug. 13, and "at no time was patient care or privacy compromised during this incident," hospital CEO Kelly Mather told the publication. The hospital registered its previous domain svh.com in September 1996, and the expiration date was Sept. 22, 2021. 

It's not unusual for three letter domain names, such as svh.com, to be hijacked since they are "hard to come by," said Blaine Transue, co-founder of web design and development company WildFireWeb, according to the report.

"Any other organization that uses that acronym – in the world – would pay handsomely to get their hands on it, probably to the tune of thousands of dollars if not much more," Mr. Transue said. "So it will likely be resold at some point."

SVH asks that patients update their contact information listed for the hospital because emails sent to @svh.com are not being delivered to hospital staff.

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