China-backed espionage hackers linked to Anthem hack

6 Feb 2015

Health insurer Anthem’s major security breach, reported yesterday, may have been at the hands of Chinese state-sponsored hackers.

Bloomberg is claiming Anthem’s investigators – yesterday we reported that Mandiant had been hired by the company to get to the bottom of the attack – are looking into Chinese links.

Interestingly, Bloomberg reports that the stealing of private information – of which Anthem claimed none was financial – is not for profitable gains, which leads to one question: If not for money, then why?

Standard espionage, remember that?

Although the Anthem investigation, led by the FBI, has just begun, it is being linked with a long-term campaign which has seen US defence contractors, government workers and others coming under attack.

Technical details of the attack include “fingerprints” of a nation-state, according to Bloomberg, with its sources saying China is the early suspect. US officials have been looking into outside attacks on its staff and contractors, which could in theory reveal key information on national projects.

Anthem has announced the hackers accessed the personal information of both current and former members. By doing this, information such as names, birthdates, medical IDs/social security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data, was all compromised.

Michael Daniel, US President Barack Obama’s chief adviser on cybersecurity, is an an Anthem customer who would be resetting his password, he said to Bloomberg.

China and US flag image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic