The letters will include information on what patients can do to protect themselves from identity theft, she said. Patients also will receive free identity theft protection for one year, Lutheran Health said Monday.
Community Health Systems reported Monday that hackers apparently attacked its computer system in April and June. The information they stole dates back five years and includes names, addresses, birth dates, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers for more than 4 million patients nationwide. The hackers didn't appear to take any patients' medical or credit card information.
Lutheran Health still doesn't know how many of its patients have been affected by the data theft, Downey said. The statement released Monday said officials believe it involves patients seen at Lutheran Health clinics and physician practices.
In the statement, Lutheran Health said Community Health Systems believes the cyber attack came from a group in China possibly looking to steal “intellectual property” — information about new ideas, inventions or processes. The hackers used sophisticated malware and technology to get through Community Health's computer security system.
Community Health since has removed the malware and has taken steps to prevent future attacks, the statement said.
Community Health owns, leases or operates 206 hospitals in 29 states, The Associated Press reported.