Foreign Government Being Blamed for Anthem Breach
Investigators have reported that a foreign government may be responsible for a data breach at Anthem insurance company, which exposed the records of more than 78 million members, including at least 12 million minors.
The California Department of Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said investigators found with a “significant degree of confidence” that the attacker was acting on behalf of a foreign government. He did not identify which government was involved, as federal law enforcement officials asked he not reveal this information due to an ongoing investigation.
Anthem’s database was breached in February 2014 when hackers used a phishing email to gain access to at least 90 systems. The insurance company did not discover the breach until last year.
Social security numbers, birthdates and customer employment details were all accessed. Experts say this information could be used to steal one’s identity and could also help a foreign government build a profile of people they want to target.
“Intelligence has become a data-mining exercise,” said Avivah Litan, a vice president and security analyst for Gartner Research told The Mercury News. “The intelligence officer of 2017 needs a lot of data to find targets and get to the targets that they’re interested in.”
The Department of Insurance also reported that Anthem agreed to spend $260 million to improve its security systems, and will provide credit protection to any member whose information was compromised.