Anthem Hack Bears China's 'Fingerprints'
Chinese hackers appear to be trying to assemble vast data trove
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2015 3:20 PM CST
The Anthem logo hangs at the health insurer's corporate headquarters in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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(Newser) – The Anthem hack that exposed 80 million Americans' data bears "fingerprints" of a nation-state, and investigators are chasing evidence that that nation-state is China, reports Bloomberg. And the attackers aren't necessarily after a credit-card shopping spree: Rather, security experts and government officials say that it appears to be part of an overarching strategy aimed at developing a deep catalog of the data of certain Americans—and defense contractors and government workers appear to be prime targets. "This goes well beyond trying to access health-care records," says a VP of a cybersecurity firm. "If you have a rich database of proclivities, health concerns, and other personal information, it looks, from a Chinese intelligence perspective, as a way to augment human collection."

The White House's own chief adviser on cybersecurity said he was among those whose data was compromised; Anthem also insures Boeing and other defense contractors, notes Bloomberg. Sources close to the investigation—which is being run by the FBI and FireEye—say that the techniques and malicious code have near-exclusive ties to China, reports the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, the AP has a list of things hacking victims can do to protect themselves.