Cyber criminals have ransacked yet another large corporation’s customer data. This time it’s Anthem Inc.—the second-largest health insurance company in the United States—who announced Thursday that account information was stolen for as many of 80 million customers (and employees) in a “very sophisticated external cyber attack.”
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According to a spokesman for Mandiant, the computer security company hired by Anthem to evaluate its systems, this latest hack scores as “the largest healthcare breach to date.” To make matters worse, although Anthem said as many as 80 million customers’ information was compromised, the company admitted it is still investigating to pinpoint exactly how many people may have been impacted by the data breach.
In a statement, company president Joseph Swedish said names, medical identification and Social Security numbers, birthdays, email and street addresses, and employment and income data was taken in the breach. It appears, Swedish continued, that no medical records were stolen, to which Tim Eades, CEO of California computer security firm vArmour said, “the personally identifiable information they got is a lot more valuable than the fact that I stubbed my toe yesterday and broke it.”
“Anthem’s own associates’ personal information—including my own—was accessed during this security breach,” Swedish said. “We join 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.”
Anthem assured customers that it’s working closely with the FBI and Mandiant to investigate the details of the breach. According to an FBI spokesman, Anthem acted more than appropriately in alerting customers and law enforcement to the breach.
“Anthem’s initial response in promptly notifying the FBI after observing suspiscious network activity is a model for other companies and organizations facing similar circumstances,” an FBI spokesman said. “Speed matters when notifying law enforcement of an intrusion, as cyber criminals can quickly destroy critical evidence needed to identify those responsible.”