CareFirst insurance hack affects 1.1m customers

Data stolen includes member names, birth dates, email addresses and identification numbers

The CEO of health insurance firm CareFirst said he deeply regrets the concern a hack affecting 1.1 million of the company's customers caused.

"We deeply regret the concern this attack may cause," CareFirst chief executive Chet Burrell said in a statement. "We are making sure those affected understand the extent of the attack - and what information was and was not affected."

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According to reports, member names, birth dates, email addresses and identification numbers were stolen, but social security numbers, medical claims, employment, credit card or financial information details were not revealed. Only those who created accounts before 20 June, 2014 were affected.

CareFirst has 3.4 million customers in the states of Maryland and Virginia and the District of Columbia in the US. The hack happened almost a year ago, but FireEye Mandiant, which was called in to audit the company's security, has only just uncovered it.

The security firm said attackers managed to gain unauthorised, but very limited access to the CareFirst database.

CareFirst said in a message to affected customers: "We understand that the security of your information is important and we are taking steps to protect members in light of this attack and moving forward.

"We are offering two years of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services for those members affected. If you have been affected, you will receive a letter from CareFirst."

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Earlier this year, two other health insurance companies - Anthem and Premera - also reported they had been attacked by hackers. The FBI was called in to investigate the incidents and concluded they were most likely to be state-sponsored hackings. China looks to be the firm favourite perpetrator.

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