Anthem Inc. Settles State Attorneys General Data Breach Investigations and Pays $48.2 Million in Penalties

HIPAA Journal

Steve Alder

The Indianapolis, IN-based health insurer Anthem Inc. has settled multi-state actions by state attorneys general over its 78.8 million record data breach in 2014. One settlement was agreed with Attorneys General in 41 states and Washington D.C for $39.5 million and a separate settlement was reached with the California Attorney General for $8.7 million. The settlements resolve violations of Federal and state laws that contributed to the data breach – the largest ever breach of healthcare data in the United States.

The cyberattack on Anthem occurred in 2014. Hackers targeted the health insurer with phishing emails, the responses to which gave them the foothold in the network they needed. From there, the hackers spent months exploring Anthem’s network and exfiltrating data from its customer databases. Data stolen in the attack included the names, contact information, dates of birth, health insurance ID numbers, and Social Security numbers of current and former health plan members and employees. And was announced by Anthem in February 2015. A Chinese national and an unnamed accomplice were charged in connection with the cyberattack in May 2019.

A breach on that scale...

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