Police found the hacker's IP address is from China.
You think it could only happen on the national and international level, and not in a small town like Thurmont. But it has.
The office computers of Catoctin Dental, run by Dr. Richard Love, were hacked earlier this year. As he was turning on his computer on the morning of January 4th, Dr. Love noticed he was having trouble getting it started. A computer support company was called to investigate, and it was determined that there was "an unauthorized guest logged on to my server."
The police were contacted, and they determined that the hacker's IP address was in China.
Dr. Love says that news took him by surprise. "You don't think about it locally. It's hard to pick up a newspaper, or listen to radio or TV or anything, without hearing something about something like that. Even knowing that, I was shocked it would even happen in Thurmont," he says.
Recently, the New York Times announced that it's computers were hacked, and the IP address of the hacker was traced to China. Other large corporations and small businesses have reported the same thing.
Since the hacking was discovered at Catoctin Dental, Dr. Love says his office server has been disconnected from the Internet, and efforts are being made to tighten up the security in the office. He says there were proper firewalls in place prior to the hacking.
"In the investigation by our computer support company and by our computer expert, I would like to repeat that there was no evidence found that the perpetrator had access any patient data," Dr. Love says. But he urges patients to check their credit reports, and report any suspicious transactions.
As a way to help patients, Catoctin Dental is offering a complimentary, one-year membership in Experian's ProtectMyID Alert. You can visit www.protectmyid.com/redeem, or call 1-877-371-7902 to enroll.
Any patient of Dr. Love's who has questions or concerns about this hacking, can call 1-800-317-6811, or e-mail Dr. Love at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I've been practicing there for 30 years. I feel I have strong relationship with my patients. And it's actually special when I see generations of patients from the same family, parents, grandparents and children," he says. "I didn't expect this to happen to me, but I guess nobody does."
Dr. Love says he has more than 6,000 patients.