The company Express Scripts has, reportedly had its data stolen and is now being blackmails for it.
Express Scripts, which is a US prescription management company, has received a letter threatening to release the records if it does not pay up.
The letter provided evidence of the data theft, by providing samples of records, which contain information about medical records, social security numbers, etc.
Rather than paying up Express Script has called the FBI, and set up an website to try and calm their clients.
The irony is that in 2006 the company pushed for greater use of electronic prescriptions, presumably for higher profits. Electronic data is so much easier to handle than paper so profits go up, as costs go down. Perhaps if the costs had gone up slightly, there would have been greater security of the data.
So far it has not been confirmed how the data was stolen/lost, i.e was it a hack or a data loss, as has happened so many times before. The companies FAQ on the subject states
We believe we have identified where the data involved in this situation was stored in our systems and have instituted enhanced controls. We are continuing our investigation to identify those responsible for any unauthorized access.”
Well, that’s nice and clear!