Saturday, May 02, 2009

Hackers May Have Gotten to Virginia Health Professions Computers

Tammie Smith writes on The Richmond Times Dispatch:

Hackers may have infiltrated computers containing licensing information on doctors, nurses and other professions overseen by the Virginia Department of Health Professions.

By yesterday afternoon, all 36 computer servers storing the state agency's records were shut down after a midday message popped up on some computer screens that implied the system was being hacked.

The situation was being investigated as a security breach and possible criminal matter.

"Part of the system may have been hacked," said Sandra Whitley Ryals, director of the state agency that oversees licensing of health professionals, including doctors, nurses, dentists, funeral directors, physical therapists, social workers and others.

"We are trying to verify that. That is why the precautionary measure was done to shut the entire system down."

Ryals said they have no reason at this point to think the problem went beyond one server on which the initial message came up.

That shutdown meant employees could not send or receive e-mail or use their Web browsers, and for a time some telephones were not working.

More here.


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