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Kirk Nahra Weighs in on Nation’s Biggest Reported Cyber Theft of Medical Data

Politico Pro
August 20, 2014

Kirk J. Nahra, chair of Wiley Rein’s Privacy Practice, was interviewed by Politico Pro for an article today about the theft by Chinese hackers of 4.5 million patients’ records from a major U.S. hospital chain.  The cyberattack on Community Health Systems, Inc.—the biggest theft of health care data reported in the United States—compromised patients’ names, addresses, and Social Security numbers, according to the article.

The company may be obliged to send letters to the 4.5 million patients, offering them a year of credit monitoring that could cost as much as $100 per head, Mr. Nahra said.  But he noted that only about 15% of those contacted about data breaches typically respond to the letters.

Sophisticated China-based hackers have historically been more interested in stealing intellectual property than committing identity theft, according to the article.  But Mr. Nahra noted that “there’s a certain logic to stealing Social Security numbers, if you’re a crook.”