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Health insurer Anthem hit hard by hackers in massive data breach

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HONG KONG (CNNMoney) — Hackers have stolen information on tens of millions of Anthem Inc. customers, in a massive data breach that ranks among the largest in corporate history.

The information stolen from the insurance giant includes names, birthdays, medical IDs/social security numbers, street addresses, e-mail addresses and employment information, including income data.

Anthem said that there is no evidence that credit card or medical information was compromised. The company said it had retained the services of Mandiant, a leading cybersecurity firm, to help investigate the breach.

Anthem pledged to individually notify current and former members if their data has been stolen, and said it would offer free credit monitoring and identity protection services to affected customers. They created a dedicated website – www.AnthemFacts.com – where members can access information such as frequent questions and answers.

“Anthem’s own associates’ personal information — including my own — was accessed during this security breach. We join you in your concern and frustration, and I assure you that we are working around the clock to do everything we can to further secure your data,” CEO Joseph Swedish said in a letter to customers.

The Federal Bureau of investigation said that it was aware of the intrusion, and was investigating the matter. The FBI also praised Anthem’s decision to quickly address the breach.

“Anthem’s initial response in promptly notifying the FBI after observing suspicious network activity is a model for other companies and organizations facing similar circumstances,” the agency said. “Speed matters when notifying law enforcement of an intrusion.”

Read the entire statement, by Anthem, below:

Safeguarding your personal, financial and medical information is one of our top priorities, and because of that, we have state-of-the-art information security systems to protect your data. However, despite our efforts, Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external cyber attack. These attackers gained unauthorized access to Anthem’s IT system and have obtained personal information from our current and former members such as their names, birthdays, medical IDs/social security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data. Based on what we know now, there is no evidence that credit card or medical information, such as claims, test results or diagnostic codes were targeted or compromised.

Once the attack was discovered, Anthem immediately made every effort to close the security vulnerability, contacted the FBI and began fully cooperating with their investigation. Anthem has also retained Mandiant, one of the world’s leading cybersecurity firms, to evaluate our systems and identify solutions based on the evolving landscape.

Anthem’s own associates’ personal information – including my own – was accessed during this security breach. We join you in your concern and frustration, and I assure you that we are working around the clock to do everything we can to further secure your data.

Anthem will individually notify current and former members whose information has been accessed. We will provide credit monitoring and identity protection services free of charge so that those who have been affected can have peace of mind. We have created a dedicated website – www.AnthemFacts.com – where members can access information such as frequent questions and answers. We have also established a dedicated toll-free number that both current and former members can call if they have questions related to this incident. That number is: 1-877-263-7995. As we learn more, we will continually update this website and share that information you.

I want to personally apologize to each of you for what has happened, as I know you expect us to protect your information. We will continue to do everything in our power to make our systems and security processes better and more secure, and hope that we can earn back your trust and confidence in Anthem.