(Bloomberg) — Anthem Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) faces what may be the first of many consumer lawsuits a day after disclosing that hackers obtained data on tens of millions of current and former customers and employees.
A California woman on Thursday accused the health insurer of failing to properly secure and protect its customers’ personal information, including names, birth dates and social security numbers, and she seeks to represent all other customers affected by the massive data breach.
Anthem, the second-biggest U.S. health insurer by market value, said Wednesday that its computer system had been targeted in a sophisticated attack by hackers. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is probing the breach, which people familiar with the matter say includes evidence that points to Chinese state-sponsored hackers.
The Anthem attack is on a similar scale to hacks of customer data from Target Corp. in 2013 and Home Depot Inc. last year in terms of the number of people affected.
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The stolen information also includes street and e-mail addresses and employee data, including income, Anthem said in an e-mail.
“It appears that Anthem’s security system did not involve encrypting Social Security numbers and birth dates — two of the most valuable pieces of information that a thief can have,” Susan Morris said in her complaint filed in federal court in Santa Ana, California.
She seeks damages for violations of California’s unfair competition and data breach laws, among other claims.