US health insurer Anthem suffers massive data breach

February 5, 2015 – 5:20 AM

Anthem, the second-largest health insurer in the United States, has suffered a data breach that may turn out to be the largest health care breach to date, as the compromised database holds records of some 80 million individuals.

Not much is known about how the attack was discovered, how it unfolded and who might be behind it, but the breach has been confirmed by the company’s CEO Joseph Swedish in a public statement, in which he says they were the victims of a “very sophisticated external cyber attack.”

“These attackers gained unauthorized access to Anthem’s IT system and have obtained personal information from our current and former members such as their names, birthdays, medical IDs/social security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data,” he shared, and added that, as far as they can tell for now, “no credit card or medical information, such as claims, test results or diagnostic codes were targeted or compromised.”

“Anthem’s own associates’ personal information – including my own – was accessed during this security breach,” he noted, and promised that they will notify each of the affected customers in writing (via a letter), and provide credit monitoring and identity protection services free of charge.

The breach impacted customers of all their product lines: Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Caremore, Unicare, Healthlink, and DeCare. But, the final number of affected individuals is still to be determined.


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