It's still unknown how many Idahoans have been affected by the massive hack of Anthem
, one of the nation's largest health care companies. Anthem has ties to Blue Cross of Idaho, and Blue Cross officials have confirmed
that if their members live in or have traveled to areas where there are Anthem providers, they might be impacted. Anthem does business mostly in the Midwest and East.
It's estimated that personal information from as many as 80 million people may have been compromised by the hack of Anthem's database, which, company officials confirmed, had not been encrypted.
"Because an administrator's account was compromised, no amount of encryption would have prevented this attack," Darrel Ng, a spokesman for Anthem said Feb. 4. Anthem has declined to say exactly how it was breached, only that it was "the target of a very sophisticated external cyberattack" the FBI is now investigating.
"Anthem’s own associates’ personal information—including my own—was accessed during this security breach," wrote Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish in a statement
to the company's customers.
Meanwhile, this morning's New York Times reports
that other health care organizations are on edge due to the "high value of data on the black market" and that medical identity theft has become a booming "business."
The Anthem hack continues to have many tentacles: victims are already receiving phishing emails, in which scammers pose as legitimate businesses and try to persuade people to agree to bogus credit protection services, thus giving away even more personal information.
reports that federal investigators are taking a hard look at Chinese hackers, who had been previously thought to target health care companies. The United States has already indicted five members of a People’s Liberation Army unit that is thought to be responsible for stealing intellectual property.