Written by Kate WardKate has a degree in communications and enjoys being outdoors.
Yesterday Anthem, Inc., the second largest health insurer in the US, announced that its data security systems had been breached and personal data for current and past customers, as well as data for employees, had been compromised. Here's what you need to know about the attack.
1. Which health plans are affected?
Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Caremore, Unicare, Healthlink, and DeCare
2. How many people are affected?
Anthem has not released a specific number. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, Anthem has about 80 million customers and it's likely that "tens of millions" of records were stolen. The records include both current and past customers as well as employees.
3. How do I know if my information was stolen?
On its website, President and CEO Joeseph R. Swedish said Anthem would contact all those affected by mail and email. He also said that Anthem has set up a website for communication with customers (www.anthemfacts.com) and a toll free phone number they can call with questions (877-263-7995).
4. What information was stolen?
Anthem said that the attack was "very sophisticated." According to their website, the data exposed included "names, dates of birth, member ID/ social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and employment information" for current and former customers and employees.
5. Was my medical or financial information exposed?
Anthem said that "at this time there is no evidence" that medical or credit card information was exposed.
6. Is anyone claiming responsibility for the hack?
Anthem discovered the attack itself and contacted the FBI and Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm, to help investigate the attack. However, at this time the culprits haven't been identified.
7. What is Anthem doing to fix the problem?
Anthem has hired a cybersecurity firm called Mandiant to evaluate their systems and "identify solutions." Additionally, Anthem said it "will provide credit monitoring and identity protection services free of charge." Information about the identity protection service will be mailed to affected customers.
8. Where can I find out more info?
Anthem has set up a website for communication with customers (www.anthemfacts.com) and a toll free phone number they can call with questions (877-263-7995). You can also view a FAQ at www.anthemfacts.com/faq.