Anthem admits data breach likely affected Blue Cross Blue Shield customers as well as its own

Anthem Health Insurance Inc. experienced a monumental data breach in February originally affecting approximately 80 million Anthem customers; however, an update from Anthem reveals that at least 8.8 to 18.8 million non-customers with Blue Cross Blue Shield may have also been affected. The total number of current and past Anthem customers included in the data breach has been reduced to 78.8 million.

Anthem’s hacked database included not only sensitive records of its current and past customers’ personal information, such as names, social security numbers, birth dates, etc., but also “non-Anthem members who used their insurance in those states where Anthem has operated” in the past 10 years. Known as the second-largest health insurer in the U.S., Anthem is still deep in the investigation learning which records in the database were targeted by hackers.

According to Anthem spokeswoman Kristin Binns, Anthem has yet to discover the exact ratio of Anthem customers to non-customers with Blue Cross Blue Shield compromised by the data breach, considering there were 14 million incomplete records unable to be linked to an Anthem plan. While financial records were confirmed not to be stolen during the cybertheft, other personal data like income data and employment data were included.

Madiant, the computer forensics unit of FireEye, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been enlisted by Anthem to perform its analysis of the cyber attack. The cybertheft tides recently turned against health care companies like Anthem considering how large their customer databases tend to be, placing a target on the back of any and all unprepared health insurance companies.

Anthem is making customers aware of the data breach by mailing out physical letters to its customers and Blue Cross Blue Shield members believed to have had personal information stolen during the cyber attack. Anthem will not be sending out any e-mails related to the data breach due to the presence of e-mail scams preying on Anthem customers to send more private information to criminals.

Any Anthem customers that are aware their personal information was compromised in the massive data breach are offered a free two-year identity theft protection plan, including credit monitoring and fraud detection services.

For more information on the Anthem data breach, Anthem has launched a website at www.AnthemFacts.com for the purpose of answering any questions or concerns affected parties may have at this time.

If you were affected by the Anthem data breach, you may be eligible to join litigation against the company for financial losses. For more information, contact one of the lawyers in our Consumer Fraud section, Larry Golston.

Sources:
Reuters
CNN

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