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ZitZot: Viriginia Health database compromised, hackers asking for ransom

The Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program has reportedly been compromised, with those responsible deleting records and now wanting $10 million before the records are restored, Wikileaks.org discovered.

“I have your [expletive] In *my* possession, right now, are 8,257,378 patient records and a total of 35,548,087 prescriptions,” the hacker said in a ransom note.  “Also, I made an encrypted backup and deleted the original. Unfortunately for Virginia, their backups seem to have gone missing, too. Uhoh :( For $10 million, I will gladly send along the password.”

The Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program website is used to help pharmacists track prescription drug abuse, and has the records of 8 million state residents available through the network.  The network, along with other portals connected to the Virginia Department of Health Professions, is still unavailable at the moment.

Full article and more Tech news at ZitZot.com


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  1. m4jst1c
    May 8th, 2009 | 13:32

    such a lame thing to do … if it's true…

  2. kitt3
    May 8th, 2009 | 13:33

    Should I say OWNT?

  3. Sean
    May 8th, 2009 | 13:35

    No I think that's pretty good. I can appreciate the fact that a person was able to get in, and show a company that their security systems are flawed, and hopefully it will make other companies take action, and protect their own with much more security.

  4. fat_fighter
    May 8th, 2009 | 13:36

    If he was good enough to get in they should give him the 10mil and then hire him on $500,000 / year to test their security

  5. Hmmmm
    May 8th, 2009 | 13:38

    Lol oh good they'll tell my mom I'm on birth control lmfao

  6. Mikey566
    May 8th, 2009 | 13:49

    And they really think they will not be caught? Trying to con $10 million from a State should land them big time in
    jail. Without a computer for ? number of years. Once out of jail they will be really far behind on computers.

  7. Hur
    May 8th, 2009 | 13:52

    That's not cool at all. While I'm all for white- and grey-hat hackers helping to improve security, this kind of thing is unabashed greed, toying with people's health. Not funny at all.

  8. Dave
    May 8th, 2009 | 13:53

    Such a stupid comment #3.
    Yes good thing someone noticed them about their security flaws, but is that a reason to do such a blackmail ?
    I hope they're going to arrest this guy.

  9. Nils
    May 8th, 2009 | 13:57

    Toying with people's health? The database sounds more like Big Brother to me…

  10. Dave
    May 8th, 2009 | 13:57

    I'll add this :

    The Virginia Department of Health Professions is the state agency which operates the Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program, which makes available online a database of patient records and prescriptions with the intent of preventing abuse of controlled substances.

    Kinda lame to put people's life in danger, right ?

  11. soforizo
    May 8th, 2009 | 14:02

    I'd be up for the death penalty for that scum; especially if anyone of those 8 million come anywhere near harm from his actions. Some light pat on the hand won't do, though I guess life with no possibility for parole would suffice.

  12. fat_fighter
    May 8th, 2009 | 14:03

    Hacking should not be illegal. Only hacking for bad reasons :
    good hacker : hacks the FBI or another big company. Then emails them with details on how he did it, and provides real contact details so they can ask him questions. No action should be taken as he mearly informed them in a direct way of their security flaws.

    bad hacker : hacks the same people then demands ransom or money or steals the information and sells it.

  13. MS
    May 8th, 2009 | 14:04

    Seconded @Dave @8

    They are just criminals & people shouldn't find charity in everything!

  14. dumb and dumber
    May 8th, 2009 | 14:09

    Its probably some 12 year old kid….

    Note to parents: Ratings on movies are there for a reason….lol.

  15. Jojo74
    May 8th, 2009 | 14:12

    How could you NOT have at least a couple of backups for such a huge & complex database?? How also did they get access to the backup? Sounds like an inside job or a leak somewhere by someone…

  16. DM
    May 8th, 2009 | 14:14

    black hats are bad mkay

  17. Greendude
    May 8th, 2009 | 14:19

    lol the hypocrisy on here is hilarious.

    this guy broke the law and one of you even called for the death penalty lol

    MS says:

    "Seconded @Dave @8

    They are just criminals & people shouldn't find charity in everything!"


    in case you don't understand what's funny, you're all on a website that is used solely to break the law. $10m is nothing compared to what the movie and music studios claim people like us cost them.

    look at yourselves before pointing fingers.

    i say fair play to him. he'll be caught but i applaud the effort.

    also, he's not hurting anyone, just making an administrative nightmare. just cos he deleted the prescriptions doesn't mean that information is wiped from the brains of the patients too. everyone on medication knows what they are taking.

  18. h1pp0
    May 8th, 2009 | 14:19

    And Obama wants to make everyone's medical records digital, he should think about securing the medical records system before he starts jeopardizing 200+ Million individual medical history.

  19. drasled
    May 8th, 2009 | 14:20


    That's hardly how it works these day's, doing something like that is actually putting your talents at great risk because most companys would be so embarassed that they will file a charge anyway.

    These days if you got the talent and want to make money with it, this seems to be the only way.

    And the only people that would be in danger from this action are drug fiends, who cares if some big company loses some money.

  20. mark
    May 8th, 2009 | 14:28

    I hope the guy gets raped a lot in federal prison

  21. chelmsley
    May 8th, 2009 | 14:29

    thats fuked up. its a prescription database! Not some defense or law enforcement server. Their are levels of protection and they get pricey as they go up. This is messed up to take prescription info for potentially old or young people that rely on these meds possibly delaying the medication being sent out. Very messed up.

    The people arent trying to get a job, they want hte ransom money plain and simple. What i dont get is how they intend to get the money and get away with teh crime. Which as im thinking makes me think theyre out of hte country because if they were US citizens it would be hard to get the cash and not get arrested. Ive heard China is the wild west of the internet, not only for Chinese hackers but international hackers. It seems the US is a gold mine, with lots of not extremely well protected servers first to learn on then attack.

  22. A dude
    May 8th, 2009 | 14:30

    720p release links up yet?

  23. Greendude
    May 8th, 2009 | 14:33

    lol the reactions on here make me wish that all the people effected die

  24. Moshster
    May 8th, 2009 | 14:45

    @18 (h1pp0) – I seriously doubt Mr Obama's plan was to simply migrate data to an MRS with no thought to security. In fact moving to digital storage will if anything improve on security as new requirements will trigger a review of existing weaknesses.

    21 (chemsley) – I doubt borders are much of a block when it comes to cyber crimes. For such crimes US allies will gladly assist across borders, because such criminals are a threat to the planet not just individual nation states. If the not so obvious allies of the US (China) will help because ultimately they have to consider the co-operations of economic partnerships. There is always some pressure or leverage that can be applied to make everyone co-operate; it's not always nice to do so, but that's the world we live in.

  25. tubbster
    May 8th, 2009 | 14:50

    "I hope the guy gets raped a lot in federal prison"

    So hacking's now become a crime punishable by anal intrusion…
    Medical records should be secure, period. The IT people should learn and improve their systems, and the hacker may or may not get caught…if it's this big a scheme, I'm sure he knows the techniques to avoid getting caught – otherwise shame on the hacker's guild.
    The people will always have the best knowledge, the government will invariably catch up – let's hope it stays that way – otherwise Enemy of the State….

  26. Timmy
    May 8th, 2009 | 15:03

    @17 "everyone on medication knows what they are taking."

    This is not true at all. People SHOULD know what they're taking, but there's a lot of people that only know the color/shape of the pill. This is actually very common in the elderly!

  27. 23 is an idiot
    May 8th, 2009 | 15:39

    @23 "lol the reactions on here make me wish that all the people effected die"

    it's Affected, you go die.

  28. chinese mafia
    May 8th, 2009 | 15:43

    The full ransom message post by the hacker


  29. -
    May 8th, 2009 | 15:59

    lol @ the ransom note, it's hard to take seriously when it's written in that tone.

    he should also demand amnesty for the swedish guys from piratebay . . .

  30. D3ADRABB1T
    May 8th, 2009 | 16:01

    you have to be a pretty worthless P.O.S. to do something like this. I hope they screw up the scrip for one of their own family and it results in death.

  31. Tom
    May 8th, 2009 | 16:07

    I'm with no.3, if someone can get hold of this stuff then they should definitely be employed, but given prison time too.

  32. RealTalk
    May 8th, 2009 | 16:26

    you know, if we imagine what kind of karma/outcome that hacker would recieve when caught, it would be similar to this:

    he would be denied any medical treatment from any prison hospital, let alone a general hospital, because the administrators couldn't find his personal records. unbeknownst to him, his cellmate, a burly-set, haven't bathed for days, potential human coffee-mate dispenser (heavy on the spoon), has hidden his file for ransom in an undisclosed prison area, where his azz would be shared like a major scene-release, should he dare to retrieve it his self. it would seem that his cellmate has family in Virginia and has decided to take out his life's frustrations onto said hacker's insecure backdoor. will said hacker come up with the ransom? by that time he will be begging for a trojan…. condom that is.

  33. InFaDeLiTy
    May 8th, 2009 | 16:55

    Hope they catch him and charge him for theft for every individual account.
    Blackmail is like 5yrs as is.

  34. Jason
    May 8th, 2009 | 17:13

    ya know wat? ya goin' 2 jail!

  35. loco
    May 8th, 2009 | 17:26

    For this particular topic, it's worth noting that the records in question aren't patient medical records. They are the tracking records for prescriptions, used to help avoid prescription fraud. Also, authorities and the VDHP and FBI haven't even confirmed that any data has been stolen. However, they *have* confirmed that offsite backups are completely up to date and have definitely not been compromised, so at least part of the 'ransom' note is fake. The service has been brought down while it is investigated for possible breaches, not because of any destruction from the hacker.

    So at the moment all we are really talking about is a stock standard web site defacement… meh.

    Try reading a real news web site, with (gasp!) its own journalists. http://www.wtvr.com/Global/story.asp?S=10303042&nav=menu79_1

  36. shawn
    May 8th, 2009 | 17:55

    uhoh! lol

    I don't believe big Pharma is used to paying extortion fee's. Could be a big hoax tho and just a hackers fungame because once the money is sent the recipients are compromised.

    Send the money so my gramps and gretchin can get their arthritis medicine!

  37. hacker wannabe
    May 8th, 2009 | 19:13

    I wish I could be a hacker… :(

  38. Mr. Pap's
    May 8th, 2009 | 20:15

    LOL this guys is my hero!!

  39. Turing
    May 8th, 2009 | 20:20

    Very well said @17

  40. mmmmmm
    May 8th, 2009 | 21:10

    rs links? lolz

  41. sam
    May 8th, 2009 | 22:25

    And that's the system obama wants to put in place for ALL of us.

  42. Nils
    May 8th, 2009 | 22:44

    I doubt that a pharmacist can withhold medication just because that database is offline. So it's not really a big deal.

  43. Nulgod
    May 8th, 2009 | 23:24

    I bet this was no hacker; probably an inside job – son of a Dr. How do he think he can he get any $ and not be traced?

  44. jiggaboo
    May 8th, 2009 | 23:37

    This guy is going to get 10,000,000 d1cks in his azz in prizon lol!

  45. THeReal
    May 9th, 2009 | 05:48

    It's called a CRACKER!

  46. Heluuu
    May 9th, 2009 | 08:01

    hey that guy is good at politics maybe he should run for president should this be real.

  47. common sense
    May 10th, 2009 | 04:15

    Hmmm, and just how many of you twerps defending this scroat, will be back here still defending him if someone dies because the doctors could not get to the medical records?

  48. D3ADRABB1T
    May 10th, 2009 | 07:11

    I can't believe that some of you think it's no big deal. These are peoples health and lives at stake. I dare anyone to screw with my moms heart medication…you couldn't run far enough or fast enough to hide from me. You'd have to call the FBI for protection. Yes this stuff with the music and movies is illegal,but you can't compare it to a life. @17, 39 and the rest…if you and your family's health and lives are worth no more than a release (which is free), then I'm betting your life is a CAM. Leave the rest of us out of this crap.

  49. D3ADRABB1T
    May 10th, 2009 | 07:20


    seems like somethings up at their site…and they're not returning reporters calls either.

  50. whoknows
    May 11th, 2009 | 12:30

    Just because he has the database of system that tracks the drugs doesn't mean that people wont get their meds. it just means the company that set that system to TRACK prescription fraud will loose. if i am reading the whole situation right. Your moms heart meds are safe and she will continue to get them as their are paper records of it as well. And the people behind it must have had inside help because how did they know where the backups are kept.

  51. Neuromancer
    May 18th, 2009 | 12:10

    This reminds me of when a hacker broke into Valve's system and stole the TF2 beta. Hackers are out there, it's a known fact. It was someones JOB to not only to secure that data, but to keep a backup as well.