Extortion attempt against Express Scripts confirmed

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 12, 2009

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The pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts was notified by the FBI that an alleged extortion revealed more than a year ago is, indeed, a legitimate threat.

The St. Louis-based company received a letter in October 2008 from someone who claimed to have hacked into the company's Web site and obtained the personal health information of millions of customers. The FBI, which has been investigating, informed Express Scripts in August that the perpetrator had taken action to prove that he possessed the information he claimed to have stolen in 2008.

The extortionist had demanded an undisclosed amount of money to keep private the information, which allegedly included names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and prescription information. Express Scripts refused to give in to the demands. It took action to enhance its security as a result of the incident.

The FBI continues to investigate. So far, Express Scripts has not confirmed any fraudulent misuse of the data. It launched a Web site, where patients can find more information on how to protect themselves and stay informed about the investigation (link).

Note: This item originally appeared at

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