Officials with Western Montana Clinic announced hackers accessed credit card information of nearly 7,000 patients last month.

The following is a news release from the clinic:

"WMC recently confirmed that its website was the target of an external hacking attack. The hackers did not gain access to patients’ medical records. The attack occurred sometime between March 10, 2015 and March 14, 2015, and WMC became aware of the attack on March 14, 2015. Upon learning of the attack, WMC immediately contacted the website’s server host and had the website taken down within three hours of learning of the attack.

The hacker was able to bypass the website’s security measures and obtain access to demographic and credit card information of 6,994 WMC patients who paid their WMC bill(s) via the link on WMC’s website.  The information available to the hacker included patient names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, date(s) and amount(s) of credit card transaction(s) on WMC’s website, and the last four (4) digits of patients’ credit card numbers.  In addition, approximately 44 patients’ full credit card information was compromised. WMC has taken steps to mitigate any further harm to patients from this security incident.

Immediately upon discovering its website had been hacked, WMC removed the website from active use, conducted a forensic security investigation, and filed a report with the FBI.  WMC has since implemented additional safeguards to secure its website and has re-published the website without the bill-pay feature.  WMC is currently working on restoring the bill-pay feature with enhanced security safeguards.  WMC has notified affected individuals of the incident via letter.

In addition, WMC has offered one year of free credit monitoring to those patients whose full credit card information was available to the hacker.  WMC recommends that all patients who were affected by the security incident remain vigilant for incidents of fraud and identity theft by reviewing their credit report and accounts for unauthorized activity.

Western Montana Clinic (WMC) has been providing care to residents of western Montana since 1922 and takes very seriously its role of safeguarding the privacy and security of patients’ personal information.  WMC apologizes for the stress and worry this situation may have caused its patients and is taking appropriate measures to avoid an incident of this nature from happening in the future.  Should you have any questions regarding this matter,  please contact WMC at the following toll-free number:  1-800-525-5688, or 406-329-7321, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., or by mail at:  P.O. Box 7609, Missoula, Montana 59807-7609."