White House cyber czar: Anthem breach 'disturbing'

The massive data breach at health insurer Anthem Inc. is “disturbing,” said White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel.

“It’s quite concerning that we would have yet another intrusion of this size,” Daniel said, speaking at a Bloomberg Government event Thursday.

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Anthem, the country’s second-largest health insurance company, revealed late Wednesday that it had been hit by a “very sophisticated external cyberattack.”

The company said the breach could expose up to 80 million customers’ personal information, including names, email addresses, home addresses Social Security numbers and salary data.

That would make it the largest healthcare breach to date.

“It’s one of those things that’s particularly disturbing especially when it is that many people,” Daniel said.

He noted that people referred to 2014 as the “year of the hack,” but the Anthem breach shows the issue isn’t going away.

The White House recently issued a cyber legislative proposal that included a data breach notification bill. The measure would likely set federal data security standards and require companies to notify customers within a set time period that their information had been exposed.

Senate Commerce Committee ranking member Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonTrump administration renews interest in Florida offshore drilling: report Dem reps say they were denied access to immigrant detention center Ex-House Intel chair: Intel panel is wrong forum to investigate Trump's finances MORE (D-Fla.) recently introduced a version of the White House proposal.

Daniel cautioned that it was too early to draw broad conclusions from the Anthem incident.

“The information tends to change very rapidly,” he said. “I’m sure we’ll be learning a lot more over the next few days.”