The cyber attacks on US companies have grown to an epidemic state and most of them are hiring specialized help to protect the information stored on their servers.
The first types of companies that were targeted by attackers were banks and retailing systems. They were selected because, in their servers, the was important data from millions of people stored. But as the former victims upped their defense against cyber-attacks, hackers have found new victims in the health insurance companies.
The latest health insurance company to be breached this year is CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, who says that after an elaborate cyber attack, the perpetrators managed to gain access to the data of 1.1 millions of people who did business with the company. This means that important data such as usernames, birth dates, email addresses and names are in the hands of the attackers.
However, CareFirst underlined the fact that the hackers did not get their hands on data such as Social Security numbers, medical claims, or credit cards, because this information is encrypted on another system. The company also says that the passwords of the member`s accounts are safe.
The CareFirst health insurance company is located in Baltimore and offers health insurance to nearly 3.4 million of people from the surrounding area.
In order to offer their clients protection against any possible upcoming fraud, the company is willing to give two years of free credit monitoring to all those affected.
The C.E.O. of the Care First insurance company, also issued a public statement in which he apologized to all of their partners and clients for the attack which resulted in loss of data.
Unfortunately, this is not the worst cyber-attack registered on an insurance company. Earlier this year important information concerning 80 million people was exposed in a data breach at the Anthem insurance company. Anthem insurance is the second largest insurance company in the US.
Another company, located in the Pacific Northwest, Premera Blue Cross, also said that data about 11 million people fell into the hands of cyber-attackers.
The software company handling most of the cyber-attacks is Mandiant, who has specialized in dealing with such issues and after a close analysis, concluded that the attack on CareFirst took place in June, last year. Mandiant is also handling the Chinese cyber-attack directed at the Penn State University servers.
Symantec security software scientists have warned against the attacks on health insurance companies, whose servers need to be upgraded in order to resist cyber-attacks.
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