Parent company of two Texoma hospitals attacked by hackers - - No One Gets You Closer

Parent company of two Texoma hospitals attacked by hackers

MADILL -- The personal information of more than four million patients nationwide is now in the hands of hackers.

The company at the center of the security breach operates two hospitals in Texoma.

Tuesday, the hospital operator released information about the cyber-attack.

Community Health Services, or CHS, owns, leases or operates hospitals in 29 states, including Texas and Oklahoma.

Integris Marshall County Medical Center in Madill and the Medical Center Of Southeastern Oklahoma in Durant are two of the 206 hospitals under the parent company, CHS.

"I would want to find that person myself and not let them go to until I had all my stuff back," Madill resident Mandi Lansdale said.

The Tennessee-based company says no medical or credit card records were taken during the attack, which may have happened in April and June.

But CHS says the attack did bypass its security systems to take patient names, addresses, birthdates, phone and social security numbers.

"That's yours to hold on to not somebody else's," Lansdale said.

"In hindsight, there's always something you can do," Ed Phelps with ESPTEK Solutions said. Phelps owns the Durant-based company which specializes in keeping businesses in Texoma safe from computer attacks.

While the networks he deals with are much smaller than those used by the hospital operator, he says the battle against hackers is never-ending, no matter the level.

"The minute you close this door they open another one, so it's an ongoing battle that we're going to be up against and it's probably going to get worse before it gets better," Phelps said.

Phelps says consumers at home should keep malware protection and antivirus software up-to-date to keep spyware out.

As for the hospitals, a spokesperson for Community Health Systems said in an e-mail Tuesday, "The hospitals and physician practices in Madill and Durant were not affected by this cyber-attack. Their patient records were not accessed by the intruder."

The closest hospitals to Texoma in Texas are in Mesquite and Weatherford.

CHS says it's notifying patients affected by the attack and offering them identity theft protection services.