I’ll be following this case on PHIprivacy.net and DataBreaches.net because customer and employee data are both involved, but felt obligated to note here that insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has disclosed what appears to be a massive hack of a database containing records on up to 80 million people.
The extent of the scope is not yet known, but Anthem estimates that “tens of millions” of people may be impacted. Whether it will become the biggest breach ever on HHS’s “Wall of Shame” (as its breach tool is sometimes known), remains to be seen. I’m making this post sticky to give everyone a chance to see it.
The following is the statement Anthem’s CEO issued last night on the Anthem web site created to provide information and updates on the breach:
To Our Members,
Safeguarding your personal, financial and medical information is one of our top priorities, and because of that, we have state-of-the-art information security systems to protect your data. However, despite our efforts, Anthem was the target 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. Based on what we know now, there is no evidence that credit card or medical information, such as claims, test results or diagnostic codes were targeted or compromised.
Once the attack was discovered, Anthem immediately made every effort to close the security vulnerability, contacted the FBI and began fully cooperating with their investigation. Anthem has also retained Mandiant, one of the world’s leading cybersecurity firms, to evaluate our systems and identify solutions based on the evolving landscape.
Anthem’s own associates’ personal information – including my own – was accessed during this security breach. 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.
Anthem will individually notify current and former members whose information has been accessed. We will provide credit monitoring and identity protection services free of charge so that those who have been affected can have peace of mind. We have created a dedicated website – www.AnthemFacts.com – where members can access information such as frequent questions and answers. We have also established a dedicated toll-free number that both current and former members can call if they have questions related to this incident. That number is: 1-877-263-7995. As we learn more, we will continually update this website and share that information you.
I want to personally apologize to each of you for what has happened, as I know you expect us to protect your information. We will continue to do everything in our power to make our systems and security processes better and more secure, and hope that we can earn back your trust and confidence in Anthem.
Joseph R. Swedish
President and CEO