The Franklin, Tenn., company operates six New Mexico hospitals: Alta Vista Regional Hospital in Las Vegas, Eastern New Mexico Medical Center in Roswell, Mimbres Memorial Hospital in Deming, Carlsbad Medical Center in Carlsbad, Lea Regional Medical Center in Hobbs, and MountainView Regional Medical Center in Las Cruces.
The company said the attack did bypass its security systems to take patient names, addresses, birthdates, and phone and Social Security numbers. It said no medical or credit card records were taken in the attack, which may have happened in April and June.
The hospital operator said it believes the attack came from a group in China that used sophisticated malware and technology to get the information. Community Health has since removed the malware from its system and finalized “other remediation efforts” to prevent future attacks.
A spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request from The Associated Press seeking comment on the attacks.
The information that was taken came from patients who were referred to or received care from doctors tied to the company over the past five years.
Community Health Systems Inc. is notifying patients affected by the attack and offering them identity theft protection services. The company owns, leases or operates 206 hospitals in 29 states.
The attack follows other high-profile data security problems that have hit retailers like the e-commerce site eBay and Target Corp. Last year, hackers stole from Target about 40 million debit and credit card numbers and personal information for 70 million people.