MEMPHIS, TENN (localmemphis.com) - Federal investigators are looking into a cyber-attack that occurred at an East Memphis doctor's office.
According to a new release, an unknown party was able to access two servers at Primary Care Specialists, Inc, located in the 3100 block of Walnut Grove Road.
Adam Berkenstock is the office's information technology manager. He told Local 24 the hackers somehow got the log-in and password for the Primary Care Specialists computers on February 27 and accessed the servers containing patient medical records.
These records included patients' name, date of birth, address, insurance/payment information, social security number and medical information (diagnosis, medications, treatments, etc. ).
Berkenstock said the access lasted less than five minute, but in that time the hackers were able to encrypt the sensitive information.
Computer specialists say when information is encrypted it makes the information unreadable and unusable.
Berkenstock said the hackers demanded money to unlock and make the information readable. They reportedly wanted the money converted into Bitcoin, a form digital money.
Primary Care Specialists did not give into the demands and alerted the Federal Department of Health and Human Services.
"My medical information should stay private," said Evelyn Boga. "It should remain at the doctor's office."
Boga is patient at Primary Care Specialists. She told Local 24 she received a letter from the office saying her information may have been compromised.
Local 24 obtained a copy of that letter.
A portion of it read, "The cyber-criminal responsible for this attack is unable to access or use your information, if you'd like to take additional steps to reduce any potential risk if you're protected health information, you may place a fraud alert with the credit reporting agency and review your credit reports periodically."
PCS also apologized to patients in the letter and stated that those responsible have since been locked out of the business' servers.
PCS has also set up a hotline for patients with questions or concerns.
The number to call is 888-750-9219, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Eastern Time).
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