Tennessee hospital's EHR hacked by cryptocurrency mining software

About 24,000 patient records were breached when Decatur County General Hospital’s vendor discovered the unauthorized software was installed to generate digital currency.
By Jessica Davis
02:39 PM
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EHR hacked by cryptocurrency mining software

Decatur County General Hospital in Parsons, Tennessee. Credit: Google Maps

Parsons, Tennessee-based Decatur County General Hospital is notifying 24,000 patients of a breach, stemming from a hacker remotely installing software onto its electronic health record software to generate digital currency.

DCGH’s EHR vendor notified officials on Nov. 27 that a hacker installed software to generate cryptocurrency onto the server managed by the vendor. Officials said the investigation is ongoing, but it looks like the cybercriminal accessed the EHR’s server to install the malicious software.

Hackers have continued to target the healthcare sector this year. However, this is one of the first reports of a hospital’s EHR being hit with cryptocurrency mining software.

What’s interesting is that the vendor discovered the unauthorized installation on Sept. 27 and replaced the server about four days later. The notification did not mention why the vendor waited two months to notify the hospital of the breach.

The infected server contained patient names, Social Security numbers, addresses, dates of birth, clinical data and insurance information.

While it appears the hackers’ intent was to leverage the cryptocurrency software, the investigation was unable to definitively prove hackers didn’t view or access patient data. All impacted patients are being offered one year of free credit monitoring.

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
Email the writer: jessica.davis@himssmedia.com