IT | Security

Data Stolen & Held for Ransom

By: Absolute Team | 5/12/2009

Who Breached: Virgina Prescription Monitoring Program

Number Affected: 8 million +

Information breached: Prescription records

How: hacker

This isn't an April Fool's Joke, though it may seem like it. Hackers allegedly broke into a Virginia state website used by pharmacists to track prescription drug abuse. The hackers then deleted records on more than 8 million patients and 35 million prescription records.

Not satisfied just with the data, the alleged hackers replaced the site's homepage with a ransom note demanding $10 million for the return of the records. The site is now completely unavailable (the state shut down access after they detected the breach), though the message was recorded.

"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."

Director of Virginia's Department of Health Professions, Sandra Whitley Ryals, declined to discuss the reported hack, saying only that an investigation is underway by federal and state authorities. She said that they are working with experts to restore systems and ensure they're safe. The Virginia Department of Health Professions says that all data has been backed up and those files remain secure. There is no word yet if affected patients will be contacted about this breach.

Via consumerist, washington post, lawsuits