In the realm of cyber security breaches regarding financial data news stories, a new victim has emerged. One of the biggest insurance companies in the United States is not only the first health insurance company to be attacked, it has also suffered one of the largest data breaches in United States history. Up to 80 million people may soon be getting a notice from their insurance company that their personally identifiable information was recently stolen by hackers.
Names, dates of birth, personal contact information, employment and salary history and, perhaps most significantly, social security numbers, were all stolen in the recent breach. While the FBI suspects that the hackers are from China (due to the fact that the attacks originated from infrastructure there), as of yet there is no definitive proof.
One of the insurance company associates noticed the breach after detecting an unauthorized database query, running under the associate’s logon. The company’s information technology department subsequently discovered further unauthorized queries.
According to the Wall Street Journal, hackers were able to gain access because the insurance company had not sufficiently encrypted customer data. Two lawsuits are already filed alleging this.
Affected clients will receive notification shortly. The insurance company promises that all of its customers with compromised data will receive extensive identity protection services. In addition, the healthcare giant will be installing new security measures, i.e., cloud encryption security, assuring the improved safety of personally identifiable information.
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