Incident Triggers Investigation as to Whether Patient Information May Have Been Improperly Accessed

The Surgeons of Lake County offers free credit monitoring and call center support

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Illinois healthcare

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill., July 20, 2012 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- The Surgeons of Lake County, LLC ("Surgeons") announced today that an unauthorized user had gained access to - and encrypted - their server in an attempt to force payment from Surgeons in exchange for the password needed to regain access to the server.

Surgeons learned of the incident on June 25, 2012, when it discovered that an unauthorized user had gained remote access to a server containing Surgeons' corporate email and electronic medical records. The unauthorized user posted a message on the server stating that the contents of the server had been encrypted and could only be accessed with a password that would only be supplied if Surgeons made the demanded payment. Upon receiving the demand, the server was turned off, and has not been turned back on.

Surgeons officials immediately contacted law enforcement and began an investigation of the incident. In the wake of this incident, Surgeons is undertaking additional measures to strengthen and enhance its protocols to ensure the security of patient records.

"Safeguarding every patient's personal information is a top priority at The Surgeons of Lake County," said Scott C. Otto, M.D., President of The Surgeons of Lake County, LLC. "We are devoting significant people and technological resources to help protect patient confidentiality."

Surgeons believes that the intention of the unauthorized access was to extort payment from Surgeons, not to take patient information, and Surgeons is not aware of any reports that the information contained on the server has been misused as a result of this incident.

Still, the unauthorized user had the ability to access names, addresses, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and certain medical information; and, as a result, Surgeons began mailing notification letters today to individuals who may have been affected. Surgeons is offering them one year of free credit monitoring services, as well as call center support.

If you believe that you have been affected, please call this toll-free number 1-855-755-8479, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern Time), and enter the reference code 7522071312 when prompted.

About The Surgeons of Lake County:

The Surgeons of Lake County was founded by Dr. Scott C. Otto and his associate, Dr. William C. Watson, in the fall of 2007. Dr. Scott H. Miller joined the practice in January of 2011, bringing with him over ten years of experience. The practice is committed to providing patients with convenient access to high-quality healthcare while maintaining cutting-edge technique and skill through continued education and technology. This commitment is based in the philosophy that all patients, regardless of race, creed, age or financial need, deserve the utmost care and respect.

The Surgeons of Lake County, LLC
Scott C. Otto, M.D.
William C. Watson, M.D.
Scott H. Miller, M.D.
1870 W. Winchester Road, Suite 112
Libertyville, IL 60048.

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REFERENCES: Illinois healthcare, electronic medical records, Scott C. Otto MD, The Surgeons of Lake County LLC, medical data breach, electronic medical records, Illinois medical practice, Illinois healthcare, news, press release from The Surgeons of Lake County, LLC, Jul 20, 2012, Private Practice and Medical Groups, Internet, Legal and Law, Libertyville, Illniois, Incident Triggers Investigation as to Whether Patient Information May Have Been Improperly Accessed