700,000 Express Scripts members notified of extortion demands (update 2)

As previously reported here Express Scripts recently updated their breach report on the incident from 2008 involving an extortion demand.  Now Dina Wisenberg Brin of Dow Jones Newswires provides some additional details, including the statistic that Express Scripts has now sent out approximately 700,000 individual notification letters, total.  The company has not revealed how many of the 700,000 notifications are due to its recently becoming aware that even more data had been acquired than they had realized.

Express Scripts spokeswoman Maria Palumbo told Dow Jones Newswires that the person who illegally obtained member records recently sent a data file to a law firm, which forwarded it to the FBI. Palumbo wouldn’t identify the law firm, other than to say it was one that had filed a lawsuit against the company.

As it has in the past, Express Scripts made a statement that it is “unaware at this time of any actual misuse of members’ information, but we understand the concern that this situation has caused our members.”

That statement strikes me as somewhat preposterous because the company is already aware of actual misuse of the information — the extortion demand itself represents actual misuse of the information, in my opinion.

This report was crossposted from PHIprivacy.net

Update: Robert McMillan of IDG News Service also reports on the latest developments in this breach, and notes that:

In May, Washington, D.C., law firm Finkelstein Thompson brought a class-action suit against Express Scripts on behalf of members whose data was stolen. Attorneys at the firm did not return messages seeking comment for this story.

The report also includes statements I made to the reporter about this breach.

Update 2: Dina Wisenberg Brin has updated her story to include a few more details. Express Scripts indicates that most of the 700,000 notifications are due to the recently revealed data as only a few hundred members were notified last year. Additionally, the company notes that the data appear to be consistent with how their data looked in 2006.

Image credit:  from the film, “Law Abiding Citizen”

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