✅ Records of both patients and employees of Affiliated Dermatologists were affected

✅ Affected individuals have been notified with a letter

✅ Two NJ hospitals and a medical group were hit by a cyberattack in February

The personal information of over a quarter million patients and employees of a New Jersey dermatologist were accessed in a cyber attack in March.

Affiliated Dermatologists first detected a cybersecurity attack on its network on March 5 by an "unauthorized third party" who left a digital ransom note.  The contents of the note were not disclosed.

The hacker copied the name, date of birth, mailing address and Social Security numbers of 380,000 individuals between March 2 and March 5, according to the company.

An investigation by a cybersecurity company determined patient medical treatment and health insurance claims information along with the driver's license and passport numbers for workers. An investigation has not turned up any misuse of the information, according to the office which went public with the hack in early May.

All those impacted have been notified with a letter that details what information of theirs was copied. Free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services were offered to those who were potentially affected.

"AD encourages everyone to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft by reviewing their account statements and monitoring their credit reports for any suspicious activity. Individuals can obtain free copies of their credit reports from the major credit bureaus," the office said in a statement.

Affiliated Dermatologists has offices in Bridgewater, Morristown and Mount Arlington.

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Capital Health logo, Pascack Valley Medical Center
Capital Health logo (Dennis Symons), Pascack Valley Medical Center (Google Street View)

Other medical hacks in New Jersey

Change Healthcare, a property of UnitedHealth Group which processes 15 billion health care transactions annually was hit by a ransomware attack on Feb. 21. It caused delays in the processing of insurance claims in New Jersey and nationwide.

Federal officials believe the attack was carried out by a notorious cybercrime "gang," grinding the company's operations to a halt and impacting hospitals, physicians, pharmacists and other providers. Patients and medical providers were left in a lurch, with unfilled prescriptions stacking up and medical offices struggling to stay open with, no revenue coming in.

NJ-based Capital Health and two Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals co-owned with Ardent Health Systems were affected by separate cyberattacks in November. The emergency rooms at Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood and Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair were initially put on divert for incoming patients. Non-emergency procedures at Capital Health facilities were paused.

Previous reporting by Erin Vogt was included in this report

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