Health insurer CareFirst BCBS (CareFirst) announced on Wednesday it was the victim of a sophisticated cyberattack that may have collectively exposed 1.1 million current and former CareFirst members and individuals that have registered to use CareFirst’s websites prior to June 20, 2014. CareFirst first detected that cyberattackers gained limited, unauthorized access to a CareFirst database in June 2014 as part of the company’s ongoing Information Technology (IT) security efforts in the wake of recent cyberattacks on health insurers.
The review conducted by cybersecurity firm Mandiant determined that in June 2014 cyberattackers gained access to a single database in which CareFirst stores data that members and other individuals enter to access CareFirst’s websites and online services. After Mandiant’s assessment, the firm found no indication of any other prior or subsequent attack or evidence that other personal information was accessed.
Attackers could have potentially acquired member-created user names created by individuals to access CareFirst’s website, as well as members’ names, birth dates, email addresses and subscriber identification number. The database in question did not include these passwords because they are fully encrypted and stored in a separate system as a safeguard against such attacks. The database accessed by attackers contained no member Social Security numbers, medical claims, employment, credit card, or financial information.
“We deeply regret the concern this attack may cause”, said CareFirst President and CEO Chet Burrell in an official statement. “We are making sure those affected understand the extent of the attack – and what information was and was not affected. Even though the information in question would be of limited use to an attacker, we want to protect our members from any potential use of their information and will be offering free credit monitoring and identity theft protection for those affected for two years.”
All affected members will receive a letter from CareFirst offering two free years of credit monitoring and identity theft protection. The letters will contain an activation code and you must have the letter to enroll in the offered protections. Out of an abundance of caution, CareFirst has blocked member access to these accounts and will request that members create new user names and passwords.