Second health insurer reports data breach

Healthcare insurer Premera Blue Cross has suffered a data breach that may have exposed the information of 11 million customers, the company revealed on Tuesday.

It would be the second major breach in as many months in the healthcare industry. Anthem, the nation’s second largest insurer, was hit by a cyberattack last month that compromised 80 million customers’ sensitive data, including Social Security numbers.

ADVERTISEMENT

Similar information has been pilfered in the Premera Blue Cross hack, including names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and bank account information.

"We at Premera take this issue seriously and sincerely regret the concern it may cause," said CEO Jeff Roe in a statement. "As much as possible, we want to make this event our burden, not that of the affected individuals."

The FBI said it was investigating the incident “and is working with the victim company in order to determine the nature and scope of this incident,” a spokesman said.

Premera mainly operates in Washington state and Alaska. Customers going back to 2002 may be at risk, the company said.

Premera uncovered the attack on Jan. 29, but traced the original intrusion back to May 5, 2014.

Healthcare data is valuable to hackers because it can be resold on the black market and used to perpetuate several types of fraud.

— Updated 4:02 p.m.