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Hospital network hacked, 4.5 million records stolen

Community Health Systems, which operates 206 hospitals across the United States, announced on Monday that hackers recently broke into its computers and stole data on 4.5 million patients.

Hackers have gained access to their names, Social Security numbers, physical addresses, birthdays and telephone numbers.

Anyone who received treatment from a physician's office tied to a network-owned hospital in the last five years -- or was merely referred there by an outside doctor -- is affected.

The large data breach puts these people at heightened risk of identity fraud. That allows criminals open bank accounts and credit cards on their behalf, take out loans and ruin personal credit history.

The company's hospitals operate in 28 states but have their most significant presence in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. More...

08-18-2014 21:17

Cyberattack Insurance a Challenge for Business

Julia Roberts’s smile is insured. So are Heidi Klum’s legs, Daniel Craig’s body and Jennifer Lopez’s derrière. But the fastest-growing niche in the industry today is cyberinsurance.

Specialized policies to protect against online attacks are offered by about 50 carriers, including big names like the American International Group, Chubb and Ace. As data breaches have become a reality of the business world, more companies are buying policies; demand increased 21 percent last year from 2012, according to Marsh, a risk management company and insurance broker.

Yet companies say it is difficult to get as much coverage as they need, leaving them vulnerable to uncertain losses.

The main problem is quantifying losses from attacks, because they are often intangible — lost sales or damage to a brand name, like the public relations disaster Target suffered after the breach of its point-of-sale systems late last year.

“The losses that are more tangible and more readily quantifiable are the ones you’ll be able to insure against more easily,” said Ed Powers, who heads the online risk services practice at Deloitte & Touche, the accounting firm. “The ones that are less tangible and less quantifiable are more challenging, but those are often the bigger ones.” More...

06-09-2014 03:30

Half of American adults hacked this year

Hackers have exposed the personal information of 110 million Americans -- roughly half of the nation's adults -- in the last 12 months alone.

That massive number, tallied for CNNMoney by Ponemon Institute researchers, is made even more mind-boggling by the amount of hacked accounts: up to 432 million.

The exact number of exposed accounts is hard to pin down, because some companies -- such as AOL (AOL) and eBay (EBAY, Fortune 500) -- aren't fully transparent about the details of their cyber breaches. But that's the best estimate available with the data tracked by the Identity Theft Resource Center and CNNMoney's own review of corporate disclosures.

The damage is real. Each record typically includes personal information, such as your name, debit or credit card, email, phone number, birthday, password, security questions and physical address.

It's enough to get hunted down by an abusive ex-spouse. It makes you an easier target for scams. And even if only basic information about you is stolen, that can easily be paired with stolen credit card data, empowering impostors. More...

05-28-2014 18:30

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