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Virginia Patient Records Held For Ransom

Virginia Patient Records Held For Ransom

It’s a sign of the new digital age. Hackers claim to have stolen 8.3 million patient records, that track patient abuse of prescription drugs, from a Virginia state government site, and are holding them to ransom – for a figure of $10 million.

In a note posted on Wikileaks, the hackers said they had the records:

"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."

According to the Security Fix blog, the hackers have given the state seven days to respond or the data will be sold to the highest bidder. Although the state has refused to confirm on deny the theft, a spokeswoman from Virginia’s Department of Health Professions told the blog the site was closed following the discovery of an intrusion on April 30.

AP has reported that the FBI and state police are investigating a referral from the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

It’s certainly not the first incident involving digitized medial records – and it’s worth remembering that the President is committed to digitizing all medical records. Just last November, pharmacy prescription processor Express Scripts offered was offering $1 million to anyone giving information that would lead to the arrest of hackers who were threatening to disclose millions of stolen patient records.

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