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February 5, 2015

Anthem data breach impacts Maine consumers

A “very sophisticated” cyberattack has exposed the personal information of Mainers who have been members or employees of insurance company Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine, the subsidiary of Anthem Inc. confirmed.

Rory Sheehan, the Maine insurer’s director of public relations, told Mainebiz in an email Thursday that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine does not ‘have specific numbers regarding how many Maine members may have been affected,” but it is in the process of notifying current and former members “whose information has been accessed.” He said the insurer has over 800 employees at its South Portland office, with roughly 312,000 members.

The Maine insurer’s parent company, Anthem Inc., first reported that it was the target of a “very sophisticated external cyberattack” early Thursday. The Los Angeles Times reported that Anthem has Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in 14 states, covering over 37 million. However, information was also accessed from other databases for Blue Cross Blue Shield patients across all 50 states, the newspaper said, impacting as many as 80 million people. All of the company’s product lines were impacted.

Sheehan said the cyberattack exposed personal information of “consumers and Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine employees who are currently covered, or have received coverage in the past.”

“The information accessed includes names, birthdays, Social Security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data,” he said. “No credit card information was compromised, nor is there evidence at this time that medical information such as claims, test results or diagnostic codes were targeted or obtained.“

Sheehan said as soon as Anthem learned about the attack, “we immediately made every effort to close the security vulnerability, contacted the FBI and began fully cooperating with their investigation.” He added that the company has hired Mandiant, a leading cybersecurity firm, “to evaluate our systems and identify solutions based on the evolving landscape.”

Sheehan said Anthem is offering free credit monitoring and identity protection services.

“We take consumers’ privacy very seriously and are doing everything in our power to make our systems and security processes — and most importantly your data – more secure,” he said. “In the meantime, as we learn more, we will continue to provide updates.”

Anthem has created a website at and a phone hotline at 877-263-7995 to answer members’ questions. The FBI is asking current and past members to report any cases of identity theft, according to the Associated Press.

The article has been updated to include more details about the scope of Anthem's data breach.

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