Anthem Cyber Attack: 80 Million Personal Records Burglarized

Anthem, Inc., customers and employees became victim of a massive cyber attack this Wednesday. Close to 80 million clients and workers of the second largest U.S. insurance company are at risk of their personal information being exploited and compromised.

Federal official told NBC News the FBI is investigating this enormous cyber attack.

Kristin Binns, a company spokesperson for Anthem, provides the following statement.

"Cyber attackers executed a very sophisticated attack to gain unauthorized access to one of Anthem's IT systems and have obtained personal information relating to consumers and Anthem employees who are currently covered, or who have received coverage in the past."
According to Anthem, the cyber attack affects nearly 80 million customer and employee records stolen from the company's database, including social security numbers, birthdays, employment information, names, and street and email addresses.

ABC News provides an excerpt from the health insurer's letter to members regarding the Anthem cyber attack.

"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."
A spokesperson for the FBI offered additional comments on the Anthem cyber attack.
"Anthem's initial response in promptly notifying the FBI after observing suspicious network activity is a model for other companies and organizations facing similar circumstances. Speed matters when notifying law enforcement of an intrusion, as cyber criminals can quickly destroy critical evidence needed to identify those responsible."
Binns added more details about the Anthem cyber attack.
"No credit card banking or financial information was compromised, nor is there evidence at this time that medical information such as claims, test results, or diagnostic codes were targeted or obtained."
U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairperson of the Committee on Homeland Security, released a statement following the Anthem cyber attack, in his attempt to emphasize why stronger cyber security laws are much needed.
"This attack is another reminder of the persistent threats we face, and the need for Congress to take aggressive action to remove legal barriers for sharing cyber threat information. I will lead this effort with other committees in the house and senate to ensure we move forward with greatly needed cyber security legislation as soon as possible."
CEO of Anthem Joseph R. Swedish cited his personal information, in addition to his associates' data, was breached in this cyber attack, 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."
Anthem offers Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in New York, California, and 12 other states. Anthem is working on individually notifying both current and former members whose information has been accessed.

Additionally, they are offering credit monitoring and identity protection services free of charge to members who were victimized by the Anthem cyber attack.

[Image courtesy of CT Mirror]