Anthem health insurance latest company to be hacked

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – One of the largest cyber attacks targeting the nation’s second largest health insurance company has left 80 million people at risk of identity theft.

It was revealed on Thursday that Anthem Inc. was the latest company to be the victim of a cyber attack. While the FBI is working to track down those responsible, Anthem is taking steps to try and protect its customers.

“This Anthem hack is a very, very bad one,” Senator Chuck Schumer said. “They can rob information; personal information.”

Anthem, Inc. is a licensee of BlueCross BlueShield. Current and former customers may be at risk from the attack.

“The economics of the attacks favor the attackers,” Rene Aguero with Rapid7 Security said.

Names, birthdays, addresses, e-mails, income data, employment information and social security numbers were stolen.

“We need Anthem to do everything it can to close the loophole and stop the hacking,” Schumer said.

Other national leaders also weighed in on the attack.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said in a statement: “This isn’t just an attack on one individual business. It’s also an attack on American consumers and our right to privacy and security.”

Congressman Paul Tonko said in a statement: “Events like these should send a clear message to Congress that bipartisan cybersecurity and data breach legislations should be prioritized.”

“Many of our companies don’t have enough protection being hacked,” Schumer said.

President Barack Obama is currently pushing for a Personal Data Notification and Protection Act that would require companies to notify customers within 30 days of a breach.

“The way that these attacks are really taking place is some of the advanced techniques that nationstates are using start to trickle down into cyber criminals,” Aguero said.

Anthem doesn’t know exactly how many people had their information stolen nor do they know who is behind the attack. Cyber security experts are warning people to monitor their accounts and online data.

“Also, be really wary about who you’re giving your social security number to,” Aguero said. “So think about – do they really need this information, why did they need it, how is it going to get used? These are ways that people can go through and sort of protect themselves.”

Anthem did not respond to e-mails or calls to find out how long ago the attack took place. The company said it will be sending letters to impacted customers in the coming weeks.

Anthem said if your information has been accessed, it will provide free identity repair services and credit monitoring.

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