China Reportedly Hacked Anthem To Learn About U.S. Health System
FBI and other federal investigators have determined that Chinese groups behind a cyberattack on Anthem that affected nearly 80 million people, including millions in California, hacked the insurer to learn about the U.S. health care system, rather than to obtain and sell stolen data, according to sources familiar with the investigations, the Financial Times reports (Chon/Waldmeir, Financial Times, 10/27).
In February, Anthem officials said about 13.5 million Californians were involved in a data breach that affected 78.8 million of the insurer's customers, former customers and employees across the U.S.
Darrel Ng -- a spokesperson for Anthem Blue Cross, the insurer's California branch -- said the 13.5 million affected Californians include:
- Current and former enrollees in Anthem Blue Cross; and
- Additional residents covered by other Blue Cross Blue Shield plans through out-of-state employers or other arrangements.
Anthem President and CEO Joseph Swedish said that hackers "gained access to [the insurer's] computer system and took information including names, birthdays, medical IDs/Social Security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data (California Healthline, 2/25).
According to MedCity News, investigators concluded that the insurer had been hacked to help China improve its health care industry.
People familiar with the investigation said that Chinese hackers targeted the U.S. health system to learn how other nations deal with medical care (Versel, MedCity News, 10/28).
According to the Financial Times, representatives from Anthem, Premera and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in China declined to comment (Financial Times, 10/27).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.