Glad you're not on the Anthem hacker hit list? Not so fast – millions more affected

People with Blue Cross Blue Shield plans also caught up


US health insurer Anthem now says that the recent security breach that exposed the personal data of tens of millions of its customers also affected people who never did business with the firm.

That's because Anthem's database included data not just for customers of Anthem-run Blue Cross Blue Shield healthcare plans, but also for customers of Blue Cross Blue Shield plans run by other companies outside of the fourteen states in which Anthem operates.

Reuters reports that in addition to the 70 million Anthem customers who were affected by the breach, Anthem now estimates that between 8.8 million and 18.8 million customers of other companies' health plans may also have had their data compromised.

Those figures include anyone with a Blue Cross Blue Shield health plan operated by a company other than Anthem who received reciprocal care in one of the states in which Anthem has exclusive title to the Blue Cross Blue Shield brand.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is a federation of health insurers that operates in 37 US states. Anthem, the nation's second-largest health insurer, offers Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Wisconsin, and parts of New York and Virginia.

Anthem has contacted various states where it has no presence to let them know that their residents may also have had their data slurped – which reportedly includes roughly 23,000 people in Vermont, 27,000 in North Dakota, and some 300,000 in Minnesota, to give a few examples.

The company has offered 24 months of identity theft repair and credit monitoring services to its customers who may have been affected by the breach, but it has not said that it will extend the same to customers of other companies. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Uncle Sam to clip wings of Pegasus-like spyware – sorry, 'intrusion software' – with proposed export controls

    Surveillance tech faces trade limits as America syncs policy with treaty obligations

    More than six years after proposing export restrictions on "intrusion software," the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has formulated a rule that it believes balances the latitude required to investigate cyber threats with the need to limit dangerous code.

    The BIS on Wednesday announced an interim final rule that defines when an export license will be required to distribute what is basically commercial spyware, in order to align US policy with the 1996 Wassenaar Arrangement, an international arms control regime.

    The rule [PDF] – which spans 65 pages – aims to prevent the distribution of surveillance tools, like NSO Group's Pegasus, to countries subject to arms controls, like China and Russia, while allowing legitimate security research and transactions to continue. Made available for public comment over the next 45 days, the rule is scheduled to be finalized in 90 days.

    Continue reading
  • Global IT spending to hit $4.5 trillion in 2022, says Gartner

    The future's bright, and expensive

    Corporate technology soothsayer Gartner is forecasting worldwide IT spending will hit $4.5tr in 2022, up 5.5 per cent from 2021.

    The strongest growth is set to come from enterprise software, which the analyst firm expects to increase by 11.5 per cent in 2022 to reach a global spending level of £670bn. Growth has fallen slightly, though. In 2021 it was 13.6 per cent for this market segment. The increase was driven by infrastructure software spending, which outpaced application software spending.

    The largest chunk of IT spending is set to remain communication services, which will reach £1.48tr next year, after modest growth of 2.1 per cent. The next largest category is IT services, which is set to grow by 8.9 per cent to reach $1.29tr over the next year, according to the analysts.

    Continue reading
  • Memory maker Micron moots $150bn mega manufacturing moneybag

    AI and 5G to fuel demand for new plants and R&D

    Chip giant Micron has announced a $150bn global investment plan designed to support manufacturing and research over the next decade.

    The memory maker said it would include expansion of its fabrication facilities to help meet demand.

    As well as chip shortages due to COVID-19 disruption, the $21bn-revenue company said it wanted to take advantage of the fact memory and storage accounts for around 30 per cent of the global semiconductor industry today.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021