Hackers apparently broke into Virginia’s Health Professions Database last week and stole data on more than 8 million patients and replaced the site’s homepage with ransom note demanding $10 million.
Brian Krebs has the details:
Hackers last week broke into a Virginia state Web site used by pharmacists to track prescription drug abuse. They deleted records on more than 8 million patients and replaced the site’s homepage with a ransom note demanding $10 million for the return of the records, according to a posting on Wikileaks.org, an online clearinghouse for leaked documents.
Wikileaks reports that the Web site for the Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program was defaced last week with a message claiming that the database of prescriptions had been bundled into an encrypted, password-protected file.
Wikileaks has published a copy of the ransom note left in place of the PMP home page, a message that claims the state of Virginia would need to pay the demand in order to gain access to a password needed to unlock those records:
“I have your [expletive] In *my* possession, right now, are 8,257,378 patient records and a total of 35,548,087 prescriptions. Also, I made an encrypted backup and deleted the original. Unfortunately for Virginia, their backups seem to have gone missing, too. Uhoh For $10 million, I will gladly send along the password.”
The site, along with a number of other Web pages related to Virginia Department of Health Professions, remains unreachable at this time. Sandra Whitley Ryals, director of Virginia’s Department of Health Professions, declined to discuss details of the hacker’s claims, and referred inquires to the FBI.
This the principle reason why I am oppposed to on-line medical records, the risk that someone could break into the system and steal private information is simply to great.