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APhA website goes back online after breach
June 6th, 2012
WASHINGTON – The website of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), pharmacist.com, is back up after being shut down for the better part of a week because of an online attack.
APhA said Wednesday that pharmacist.com was taken offline after staff learned that the website's computer servers had been accessed by an unauthorized person or persons.
According to APhA, the site was defaced on the evening of May 28 by "an unknown individual or group." The association said it notified law enforcement and took the site down to protect its members, donors, visitors and its online content.
APhA said it is investigating the extent of the website access and taking measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.
The forensic investigation thus far indicates that some user data — such as names, physical addresses and e-mail addresses — was stolen from APhA servers and posted on a file sharing network, the association said, adding that it will promptly notify affected individuals if the investigation reveals the disclosure of sensitive, personally identifiable information.
"We thank our members for their patience during this trying time," Thomas Menighan, chief executive officer and executive vice president at APhA, said in a statement. "We understand how important pharmacist.com is to our members in their search for pharmacy information, education, resources and networking. APhA considers any unauthorized access of its data to be serious and has been working nonstop to ensure the website was secured and back online in a timely manner."
A message now on the APhA website addresses the temporary outage. It reads, "Dear members and visitors, welcome back to pharmacist.com! We apologize for any inconvenience that the temporary site disruption may have caused. To show our appreciation for your continued loyalty to pharmacist.com, we are making one of our most highly regarded resources available to all site visitors. APhA DrugInfoLine (www.aphadruginfoline.com) will be available to everyone, in its entirety, until June 20, 2012."