The Surgeons of Lake County, a group practice in Libertyville, Ill., recently announced a breach of protected information following an extortion attempt.

The practice discovered on June 25 that a hacker had taken control of a server hosting corporate email and electronic health records. A message on the server said its contents had been encrypted and demanded an undisclosed financial payment from the practice for a password to turn off the encryption. The practice turned off the server and it was not been turn back on, and notified authorities.

The practice has notified 7,067 patients and the HHS Office for Civil Rights, and is offering affected patients one year of credit monitoring services. Information on the server included Social Security numbers, names, addresses, credit card numbers and some medical information.

“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,” according to a statement from the practice.

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