WA: Premera Blue Cross target of cyber-attack, personal information accessed (update 3)

The Edmonds Beacon reports:

Premera Blue Cross announced on Tuesday, March 17 that it was the target of a cyber-attack, and customers personal information was accessed.

According to the Premera website, attackers gained access to the IT systems. The attack initially occurred on May 5, 2014, but wasn’t discovered until Jan. 29, 2015.

An investigation by the company and Mandiant, a top cyber security firm, revealed members name, date of birth, email address, address, telephone number, Social Security number, member identification numbers, bank account information and claims information, including clinical information was accessed.

Read more on Edmonds Beacon.

Premera has established a dedicated website to the breach, and yes, right off the bat they claim that they were victims of a “sophisticated cyberattack.”  In terms of the scope of the breach:

This incident affected Premera Blue Cross, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, and our affiliate brands Vivacity and Connexion Insurance Solutions, Inc. Our investigation determined that the attackers may have gained unauthorized access to applicants and members’ information, which could include member name, date of birth, email address, address, telephone number, Social Security number, member identification numbers, bank account information, and claims information, including clinical information. This incident also affected members of other Blue Cross Blue Shield plans who sought treatment in Washington or Alaska.

Note that KING5 is reporting that this breach may impact 11,000,000.

Update 1: Premera’s notification templates are up on the California Attorney General’s web site:

Premera Blue Cross – Incident Notification – Deceased

Update 2: Brian Krebs describes some evidence that suggests that the Premera attack may be state-sponsored – and by the same group responsible for the Anthem hack.

Update 3: Lifewise members are also affected by this breach (approximately 250,000):

This incident affected LifeWise Health Plan of Washington, LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon and LifeWise Assurance Company. It also affected LifeWise Health Plan of Arizona, which no longer does business in that state.

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