Chinese Hackers Suspected|in Anthem Data Breach


     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Anthem Blue Cross allowed hackers to steal personal information from 80 million customers, a class action claims in Federal Court.
     Two such class actions were filed in Los Angeles Thursday and another in Birmingham, Ala. Federal Court, according to the Courthouse News database.
     Bloomberg News service and others reported today that Anthem Blue Cross suspects Chinese hackers were responsible. The hackers are believed to want the information as a back-door way to spy on U.S. defense officials, corporations and others, according to wire reports.
     Personal information that was hacked includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, results of medical tests, billing information, lead plaintiff Samantha Kirby says in her Feb. 5 complaint.
     Kirby says the Anthem detected the “massive data breach” on Jan. 29, and that it affects “approximately 80 million insureds.” It informed customers of the data breach on Feb. 4.
     Kirby claims that a website Anthem set up to explain what happened contains only “a short and vague facts page.”
     She claims, inter alia, that “Anthem does not provide any information as to when its systems were compromised, how long third parties had access to its systems or what measures have been taken to prevent further breaches.”
     She adds: “Anthem does not definitely state that customers banking and medical information was not disclosed to third parties.”
     The enormous data breach exposes customers to identity theft, fraud, credit card crimes, compromised banking account information, medical fraud, damaged credit ratings and other problems, Kirby claims.
     She seeks class certification, restitution and damages for unfair competition, privacy invasion, negligence, conversion, and violations of medical confidentiality.
     She is represented by Robert Ahdoot with Ahdoot & Wolfson of West Hollywood.

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