Menu
US health insurer Anthem discloses customer and employee data breach

US health insurer Anthem discloses customer and employee data breach

Income data, Social Security numbers, names and addresses were stolen

Anthem, one of the largest U.S. health insurers, said Wednesday one of its IT systems was breached, resulting in the loss of customer and employee information including income data.

The insurer, which set up a special web page on Wednesday addressing the breach, said it will still assessing the impact of the attack.

Anthem's breach could be one of the largest affecting a health care provider and adds to a growing list of large companies who have suffered expensive and damaging data breaches over the last year, including Sony Pictures Entertainment and Home Depot.

Anthem has 37.5 million subscribers for its health plans, and more than 68 million people are served by its affiliated companies under the brands Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Empire Blue Cross, Amerigroup, Caremore, Unicare, Healthlink and DeCare.

The FBI has been notified. Anthem said it has also hired Mandiant, the computer forensics unit of FireEye, to investigate the breach. The attackers have not been identified yet.

Anthem CEO and President Joseph R. Swedish described the breach as a "very sophisticated external cyber attack." He wrote that his own information was accessed as well.

"We join you in your concern and frustration, and I assure you that we are working around the clock to do everything we can to further secure your data," Swedish wrote.

The stolen data includes names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and member IDs, Anthem said. It also includes employment information and income levels.

No medical data, such as diagnosis or treatment information, or credit card data was exposed, Anthem said. Affected members will be contacted through the mail.

After stealing such information, hackers often bundle it up and sell it on underground forums to other cybercriminals, who could try to use it in a variety of identity-related scams, such as ordering credit cards or taking out loans.

Anthem officials reached Wednesday night did not have further information to share.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Anthem

Featured

Slideshows

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments