Customer information left exposed by insurance giant - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Customer information left exposed by insurance giant

Robert Byrd Robert Byrd
Betsy Byrd Betsy Byrd
Louisville, KY -

By Eric Flack - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The mission is affordable health care. But Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is paying the price for a security slip up that exposed the name, social security number and credit card information of customers like Robert Byrd.

"They can do almost anything with that," Byrd said. "Which part of my back do I look over?"

In Kentucky alone, Anthem said 20,000 members got a letter letting them know a small group of people got access to customers personal and financial information, just by tinkering with the company's web address. Anthem offered customers a year's worth of free credit monitoring, but little explanation about who the hackers were or what they were after.

"It's hard to tell from the content of the letter," Byrd said. "Is it just one person that got malicious access? Somebody skirting the edge of the law? I don't know."

Anthem spokesman Tony Felts told us the hackers were actually attorneys suing the insurance giant. Felts said a customer in California filed the lawsuit after apparently learning of the security glitch. Anthem claims the attorneys hacked into the system to prove their case.

"We believe that this manipulation was conducted to support a class action against anthem or its parent company over the very breach being committed," Felts said.

Felts said Anthem hasn't ruled out suing the attorney's that hacked their system.

"We are currently weighing our legal options with respect to the data and the impact, if any, on our members, and the remediation costs incurred as a result of these actions," said Felts.

That doesn't get them off the hook with Byrd, or his wife Betsy, who blame Anthem for allowing anyone to compromise their system.

"He's just an attorney he's not a computer hacker," Mrs. Byrd said. "So I mean somebody with more skill than he's got could do it easily."

Anthem says only those who are self insured had their information exposed. Anyone who was affected has already been notified. The insurance giant says it has taken steps to make sure this doesn't happen again and that no one has had their identity stolen so far.

The attorneys who hacked into the system turned the information they got over to the judge in the case.

Copyright 2010 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

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