Lawrence is the Chair for Obermayer’s Health Care Law Department and Election Law Practice Group. Lawrence’s Health Care Law legal experience includes the representation of physician group practices (single and multi-specialty), hospitals,...Read More by Author
Millions Affected by Hackers’ Attack on Health Insurer Anthem, Inc.
“Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external cyber attack,” announced Joseph Swedish, Anthem’s President and CEO. Anthem, Inc., formerly known as WellPoint, Inc., is one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States.
The exact number of affected individuals is still unknown, but initial estimates indicate that tens of millions of individuals have been compromised as a result of this attack.
To Anthem’s knowledge, “there is no evidence that credit card or medical information, such as claims, test results or diagnostic codes were targeted or compromised.”
“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,” according to the statement released by Anthem.
Anthem has established a website and a toll-free hotline, 1-877-263-7995, for consumers to obtain additional information. Anthem has also engaged Mandiant, a well-known cybersecurity firm, to evaluate its IT systems.
This hacking incident is another in a long-line of recent cybersecurity incidents, and serves as an important reminder for companies to take proactive steps to secure their IT systems and confidential, proprietary, and/or protected health information.