80 Million Affected By Anthem Cyber Attack

University of California students and employees are among those affected by a recent cyber attack on Anthem Inc., the second largest health insurer in the U.S.

The data of approximately 80 million customers and employees of Anthem Inc., the second largest health insurer in the U.S., were compromised in an external cyber attack, officials said Feb. 4.

Anthem says that once it became aware of the attack, it contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and made every effort to close the security vulnerability. There is currently no evidence that credit card or medical information was compromised, ABC News reports.

University of California (UC) students and employees were among those affected. Seven UC campuses have an insurance plan in place that is part of the Anthem Blue Cross network, the Daily Californian reports.

UC Berkeley officials warned students, faculty and staff on Monday that a phishing scam was circulating as a result of the breach. The scam uses the Anthem logo and offers free credit card protection. 

“Anthem will be contacting current and former members via mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Anthem will not be calling members directly, nor will Anthem be emailing members. Members should beware of scam email campaigns (or phishing) disguising to be Anthem,” Berkeley officials warned in an online statement.

The database that was hacked contained victims’ names, birthdays, Social Security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data.

Currently, insurers are not required to encrypt customer data under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, although it is encouraged. Encryption is controversial in the industry because it can add costs and make day-to-day operations more cumbersome, according to the Durango Herald.

Anthem has created a dedicated website on the breach.
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