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Issue: Cyber Attacks

Premera Blue Cross, a health plan in the Pacific Northwest, is notifying 11 million individuals about a cyber attack that exposed personal information.

On Jan. 29, 2015, Premera discovered that cyber attackers had executed a sophisticated attack to gain unauthorized access to its information technology systems. Premera’s investigation revealed that the initial attack occurred on May 5, 2014. Premera is mailing letters to individuals and also is offering two years of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services.

The investigation determined that the hacked information could include names; dates of birth; Social Security numbers; mailing addresses; email addresses; telephone numbers; member identification numbers; bank account information; and claims information, including clinical information.

What Can You Do To Protect Our Patients’ Data?

  • Use strong passwords
  • Encrypt all outbound emails containing confidential or sensitive information by using “Secure:”  in the subject line
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