Anthem data breach: Health insurance company has millions of records stolen in industry’s largest-ever cyber attack

As many at 80 million records at second-largest US health insurer

Anthem Inc., the second-largest US health insurance company, last week was hit with the largest-ever health-insurance cyber attack, putting the records of 80 million patients at risk.

Hackers unknown to this point were able to breach Anthem’s computer system and get access to customer’s names, birthdays, Social Security numbers, home addresses, email addresses and employment information, the company’s CEO Joseph Swedish said in a statement.

“Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external cyber attack,” Mr Swedish said. “Based on what we know now, there is no evidence that credit card or medical information were targeted or compromised.”

But the stolen personal information could prove to be valuable to the hackers and the FBI is asking anyone who suspects any instance of identity theft to report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Centre.

As many as 80 million customer records were in the database hit by hackers and Anthem is still trying to determine exactly how many records were stolen. As of Wednesday night, the company estimated the number was in the tens of millions, USA Today reported.

The breach affected both current and former customers of the company. Mr Swedish said Anthem would inform each person whose information has been compromised and will provide free credit monitoring and identity-protection services.

Anthem has customers in 14 states and was previously known as WellPoint Inc.

 

Follow Payton Guion on Twitter @PaytonGuion.

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