The luck of the Irish was not with Premera Blue Cross’s (Premera) on St. Patrick’s Day, when the health insurer announced a breach of approximately 11 million of its members’ personal information due to a sophisticated cyberattack that started in May 2014. According to Premera, cyber hackers gained access to Premera’s member information through its IT systems, accessing medical and financial information, clinical information, Social Security numbers and bank account information dating back to 2002. This attack affects not only Premera, but also Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska and its affiliate brands, Vivacity and Connexion Insurance Solutions Inc.
The attack was first discovered in January 2015, and Premera announced that it has been working with the FBI to investigate this matter ever since. Premera has also worked with a cybersecurity firm to remove the malicious software that has infected its IT system.
Premera will provide two years of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services to the affected 11 million members, and it has also set up an information call center to answer its members’ questions and concerns.