No. 2 Health Insurer Anthem Suffers Historic Hack

'10s of millions' of Anthem customers have details stolen
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2015 3:58 AM CST
Details of 80M Exposed in Major Health Insurer Hack
A pedestrian walks past the corporate headquarters of health insurer Anthem, formerly known as WellPoint, in Indianapolis.   (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

In what is believed to be the biggest-ever health care data breach and one of the biggest data breaches anywhere, Anthem says hackers may have stolen the details of tens of millions of customers. The company—America's second-biggest health insurer—says hackers broke into a database that held the details of 80 million current and former customers, as well as those of employees, including its chief executive, reports the Wall Street Journal. The company, which was formerly known as WellPoint, says it contacted the FBI when the breach was first detected last week and the data was tracked to a storage service, but it's not clear whether the hackers were able to shift stolen data elsewhere.

The company—which runs plans such as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield—says customer details including medical IDs, addresses, Social Security numbers, and employment information were exposed, but there's no sign that medical information or credit card details were stolen, reports CNN. Anthem has set up a website with information on what it calls a "very sophisticated external cyberattack" and began notifying affected customers by email last night, the New York Times reports. The company says it will "provide credit monitoring and identity protection services free of charge" to customers, and it has employed cybersecurity firm Mandiant to deal with the breach. (More hackers stories.)

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