Consumer Protection calls for credit monitoring after Anthem customer information hacked

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HARTFORD — The state’s Attorney General, the commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection and the Insurance commissioner are urging Anthem to take actions to protect consumers after a massive cyber-breach at the company.

Anthem revealed the security breach Wednesday afternoon. Data stolen was not medical information or credit card numbers but things like birthdays, addresses, social security numbers with matching names.

Anthem is the second biggest health insurer in the country and this is the largest data breach of its kind. The company hasn’t said how this happened, but cyber security experts say this is one of the most advanced hacks they’ve ever seen.

Anne Melissa Dowling, the acting commissioner said in a statement, “The Connecticut Insurance Department is working closely with Anthem to assess the impact to Connecticut customers and ensure there are plans in place to protect Connecticut policyholders.”

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and  Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris called on Anthem to provide two years credit monitoring services, identity theft insurance, and reimbursement for the costs associated with placing and lifting security freezes.

“Given the sensitive personal information that Anthem has disclosed was compromised in this breach – including Social Security numbers, with corresponding names and addresses – I am asking the company to provide two years of free identity theft protection and credit monitoring to affected individuals, instead of one,” the Jepsen said. “Breaches in security like this one put innocent consumers at significant risk of financial and reputational harm, and those affected deserve adequate protection.”

In an email to customers, Anthem’s president says the company is working with the F.B.I. and Anthem members should await further emails to find out if their accounts were part of the hack. That email also included an apology for the breach and a telephone hot-line customers can call for more details.

Go to AnthemFacts.com or call 1-877-263-7995 for more.

This is the latest breach in what’s becoming a startling trend. In the past year, Target, Home Depot, and Sony Pictures have made headlines for being hacked. And under increased public pressure, companies are disclosing the hacks faster. Anthem learned of the breach last week, but waited to disclose until it knew the extent of the hack. And some of that is still being assessed.

The Insurance Department offered these links to help customers:

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