Data breaches are happening everyday throughout the world. These data breaches affects thousands or more, and are always a shock to those who are affected that something like this could happen. Despite ensuring that a data is encrypted, there are other methods in which businesses can utilize in order to protect their customers. Yet, it seems that hackers are getting smarter to the ways of protecting data, and are simply inventing newer methods to get what they want.
Anthem, insurance provider in the United States, was hacked and at the time, it undetermined just how many people were going to be affected by this hack. The information that was stolen included personal information. It would be simple for a hacker with this personal information to steal the identity of the insurance customer.
ThreatConnect, a Virginia based security company, investigated the incident on their own and did publish their findings. The company believes that the people behind this attack is a group of Chinese cyber criminals that calls themselves, “Axiom” aka Deep Panda.
Anthem spokesperson has stated:
“…a whopping 78.8 million consumers may have had personal information viewed by hackers who had accessed our database.”
The spokesperson stated that some of those affected were no longer current customers with Anthem. And basically that any state in which Anthem was used in the last 10 years could have citizens that were affected by this hack.
There are people across the United States that are being affected. According to the LA Times, there are 13.5 million people in California alone that are infected. While in Rhode Island, there are approximately 80,000 being affected according to NBC 10 News. Other states are affected as well. This includes Hawaii, Georgia, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, North Dakota, and so forth. Any state in which Anthem works in, are susceptible to this new hack.
Anthem’s website, after the attack, did address some of the concerns and questions that people were having. Thus far, they believe that:
“All lines of Anthem business have been impacted, including Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Caremore, Unicare, Healthlink, and DeCare.”
Though most security companies are in agreement that it seems likely Axiom is to blame for this hack, many people are still unaware of who Axiom really is. Many security threats came together to investigation this group months ago, before the hack.These groups included FireEye, Cisco, Microsoft and many more.
What the coalition found was surprising. They stated that Axiom targeted:
“…pro-democracy non-governmental organizations (NGO) and other groups and individuals that would be perceived as a potential threat to the stability of the Chinese state.”
Due to the nature of this threat, consumers that were affected by Anthem will find that the damage has been done. There is really nothing that a person can do in order to stop this hack. Instead, people who were hacked need to watch their personal information, check credit reports and the like to ensure that there is no one out there using their personal information.
For companies that are striving to ensure that they are next the next business affected by this Axiom group, they need to ensure that their security features within their business are top notch. This includes maintaining computer hardware, making the necessary upgrades to ensure that there are no gaps in security/firewalls, and ensuring that they are data encrypting their network to make it harder for hackers to steal information. There are several companies that are offer security monitoring programs, and these are something that each business needs to have. In this way, if there is a threat it is going to be caught before it does untold damage to customers and the public in general.