California Health Network Reports Data Breach
Cyber-criminals may have accessed the protected health information (PHI) of hundreds of thousands of patients of a network of community health centers based in California.
Nonprofit Community Medical Centers (CMC), which is headquartered in the city of Stockton, primarily serves low-income patients, migrants, and homeless people in the Northern California counties of San Joaquin, Solano, and Yolo.
In a statement issued on October 15, CMC said that "some unusual network activity" had been detected "early on Sunday, October 10."
As a precaution, the agency shut down its entire network, including its servers, computers, and some phone lines that patients had been using to access their medical records, make appointments, and receive information relating to COVID-19.
"We know how hard this is on our patients," said Preethi Raghu, chief operating officer at Community Medical Centers. "We are doing everything in our power to continue patient care and restore our systems."
CMC launched an investigation into the unusual network activity with the help of third-party experts in cybersecurity. An examination of the digital forensic evidence determined that unauthorized individuals had gained access to parts of its network in which patients' protected health information was