Anthem hack puts employee information at risk

Anthem, a health insurance provider, alerted Murray State officials to a data breach that put the private information of all employees with University healthcare at risk for exposure Feb. 5.

Jackie Dudley, vice president of Finance and Administrative Services, said Anthem has been forthcoming and helpful throughout the attack’s aftermath. 

A link to anthemfacts.com, a website Anthem is keeping updated with information about the data breach, along with an apology from Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish, has been posted to the Murray State homepage.

If Anthem members believe their information has been accessed, they should review their credit history and freeze their credit card accounts, Dudley said.

Since the breach occurred due to fake Anthem emails, all members should be careful with future emails.

As far as finding out whose information was hacked, Anthem is still in the process of determining how many have been affected.

“Anthem is currently conducting an extensive IT forensic investigation to determine what members are impacted,” according to the Anthem website. “We are working around the clock to determine how many people have been impacted and will notify all Anthem members who are impacted through a written communication.”

According to the website, members’ names, social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, employment information and dates of birth have all been compromised. Medical and credit card information are still considered safe.

The party behind the hack is still under investigation.

The breach is a byproduct of the times, Dudley said.

“It’s the world we live in,” she said. “There are things that do happen. This is by far the most wide-reaching breach we’ve ever dealt with.”

Dudley said she didn’t know when the last time Murray State itself was hacked, but it has happened once or twice.

This instance, however, was beyond the University’s control.

“There’s no University response plan in place for this particular breach because there’s nothing we can do about it,” Dudley said.

President Bob Davies said the University was happy with the promptness of Anthem’s alert and how helpful they’ve been.

His opinion on the hack mirrored Dudley’s – it’s the world we live in.

“This not only impacts Murray State but impacts people throughout the U.S.,” he said. “It highlights that we live in a fluid world and always need to be taking precautions to protect our own security.”

Follow-up communication from Anthem and what the University has been doing in conjunction with the information received is important, Davies said.

The University will continue to work with Anthem and keep those affected by the hack informed about Anthem’s plans to deal with the breach, Dudley said.

Staff Report