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Cyber attack affects more than 3 million California Anthem customers

Posted 5 years 123 days ago ago by newspaper editor    0 Comments  0 Likes Like Dislike

San Francisco Business Times
Feb. 24, 2015

Nearly three weeks after Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) said it had suffered an enormous data breach, officials have an estimated tally for the number of Californians affected: 13.5 million residents.

That total includes current and former enrollees in Anthem Blue Cross, plus other California residents covered by other members of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association through out-of-state employers or similar arrangements, Anthem Blue Cross spokesman Darrel Ng said Tuesday.

The Golden State total also includes visitors, such as tourists, who used California urgent care centers, emergency rooms or other health care facilities during the periods covered by the breach.

This is the first time that the company has disclosed this California-specific number.

Anthem Blue Cross, led by President Mark Morgan, currently has about 8 million enrollees statewide.

Indianapolis-based Anthem hasn't officially confirmed the overall number of past and present enrollees affected by the hack attack, but seems to be comfortable with the 80 million tally.

Early this month, the parent company's president and CEO, Joseph Swedish, divulged that hackers had "gained access to Anthem's computer system and took information including names, birthdays, medical IDs/Social Security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data."

The California subsidiary immediately said at the time it would notify current and former enrollees whose information had been compromised.

Meanwhile, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen who has been active in following up on the huge data breach, reported Tuesday that only 315,000 people nationally have signed up so far for additional credit monitoring protection through Anthem's web site. In Connecticut, Jepsen's Feb. 24 statement said, more than 1.7 million Anthem customers or Blue Plan customers were affected by the breach.

Those affected by the breach don't have to sign up for credit protection, but will be covered automatically, Ng stressed. However, Anthem "can't sign up people for credit-monitoring protection without their consent," he said.

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