Anthem, which is one of the largest health insurers in the U.S., revealed that it was a target of an external cyber-attack. The health insurer revealed that millions of customer and employee records were exposed as a result of the recent cyber-attack.

Joseph R. Swedish, the President and CEO of Anthem, revealed that the company has state-of-the-art information security system to protect customer and employee details but the sophisticated attack gained unauthorized access to Anthem's systems.

Swedish revealed that personal records of former and current members that included medical ID, social security numbers, income data, name, date of birth, email, employment information and addresses were compromised as a result of the latest attack.

The CEO also revealed that as far as they know credit card information or medical details such as test results, diagnostic codes and claims were not compromised or targeted by the hackers.

"Anthem's own associates' personal information - including my own - was accessed during this security breach. We join you in your concern and frustration, and I assure you that we are working around the clock to do everything we can to further secure your data," wrote Swedish in an open letter.

Anthem was prompt to discover the cyber-attack and immediately addressed security vulnerabilities. The company contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) following the attack and cooperated with the required investigation.

The company has also engaged with Mandiant, which is one of the prominent cybersecurity firms, for evaluating the attacks and to identify solutions to protect the systems from any future attacks.

Anthem is the second-biggest health insurer in the U.S. and its database contains details of more than 80 million customers and employees. The latest breach is likely to be the biggest ever disclosed by a health insurer in the U.S.

The company operates health plans under numerous brands such as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Swedish revealed that the company will start notifying individual customers whose data has been compromised.

The FBI has urged Anthem customers to report any suspected incidences of identity fraud. The federal agency has also praised Anthem's promptness of reporting the breach and taking necessary actions to stop the vulnerabilities.

Anthem has started a toll free number for customers who are concerned about their data held with the company and want to enquire about the incident. The company has also established a website called www.AnthemFacts.com where customers can get answers to some frequently asked questions. 

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