NEW YORK - Hackers stole 4.5 million records from a hospital network that operates five hospitals in the Charlotte area.
Community Health Systems said hackers in China used sophisticated malware to launch the attack.
Patients at Lake Norman Regional Center, Sandhills Regional Center, Chester Regional Medical Center and Springs Memorial Hospital may all be impacted by the breach.
Officials with Davis Regional Medical Center said they were not affected by the breach.
Community Health Systems officials said it will be sending out letters to all 4.5 million patients impacted.
The hackers stole patients' names, Social Security numbers, physical addresses, birthdays and telephone numbers.
Officials said this affects anyone who received treatment from a network-owned hospital in the last five years.
Experts said hackers with this information can open bank accounts and credit cards and take out loans and ruin personal credit history.
Some good news is that the hackers didn't steal information related to patients' medical histories, clinical operations or credit cards.