by: Justin Kree
BIG SPRING- Family Medical Center in Big Spring is just one of the many facilities around the country that was hacked. If you have been treated here in the last five years, you could be at risk. First, there was the Target security breach then Michael's Arts and Craft store was affected and now hospitals.
Community Health Systems operates over two hundred hospitals and clinics nationwide. Scenic Mountain Medical Center and Family Medical Center in Big Spring run by the company.
Scenic Mountain Medical sent NewsWest 9 a statement about the possibility of patient information landing in the wrong hands.
"We take seriously the security and confidentiality of private patient information and we sincerely regret any concern or inconvenience this event may cause," Amanda Duforat, Marketing Coordinator with Big Spring Hospital Corporation, said.
Scenic Mountain Medical was not affected by this breach but the Family clinic is. The hospital believes the criminals are not in the country.
"Our organization believes the intruder was a foreign-based group out of China that was likely looking for intellectual property," Duforat said
The statement goes on to say that names, addresses, birthdays and even social security numbers were stolen. Not medical information.
Tyler Patton with the Better Business Bureau says hackers from out of the country are committing these crimes more and more because they know it's hard for authorities to find them.
"Anytime you see a large breach like this, you're probably looking at someone overseas doing it. They want to be at arms length away from American law enforcement. That's a really big deal," Patton said.
The security breach that affected the hospitals around the country is different from the breach at Target and Michael's stores.
"This one appears to be more of an identity theft attempt. As opposed to a credit card or debit card attempt as Target and Michael's were," Patton said.
Scenic Mountain Medical hospital will offer free identity protection for those who were affected. Letters will be mailed to inform those around Big Spring if their identity was stolen.