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Michigan Joins $39.5M Multistate Settlement over 2014 Anthem Data Breach
October 01, 2020
LANSING – Attorney General Dana Nessel today announced that Michigan has joined a $39.5 million settlement with national health care insurer Anthem stemming from the massive 2014 data breach that involved the personal information of 78.8 million Americans. Through the settlement, Anthem has reached a resolution with the 43-state coalition and California. Michigan will receive $354,542.05 from the settlement. In addition to the payment, Anthem has also agreed to a series of data security and good governance provisions designed to strengthen its practices going forward.
In February 2015, Anthem disclosed that cyber attackers had infiltrated its systems beginning in February 2014 by using malware installed through a phishing email. The attackers were ultimately able to gain access to Anthem’s data warehouse where they harvested names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, health care identification numbers, home addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and employment information for 78.8 million Americans. In Michigan, 636,075 residents were affected by the breach.
"In this digital age, email scammers and cyber attackers are constantly attempting to steal personal information and we all must be on guard for new tactics,” Nessel said. “Moreover, the businesses and entities that possess our private information must implement safety measures prepared to withstand potential cyber attacks. When companies do not make every effort to protect our personal data, they must be held accountable.”
Under the settlement, Anthem has agreed to a series of provisions designed to strengthen its security practices going forward. Those include:
- A prohibition against misrepresentations regarding the extent to which Anthem protects the privacy and security of personal information;
- Implementation of a comprehensive information security program, with regular security reporting to the Board of Directors and prompt notice of significant security events to the CEO;
- Specific security requirements with respect to segmentation, logging and monitoring, anti-virus maintenance, access controls and two-factor authentication, encryption, risk assessments, penetration testing, and employee training, among other requirements; and
- Third-party security assessments and audits for three years, as well as a requirement that Anthem make its risk assessments available to a third-party assessor during that term.
In the immediate wake of the breach, at the request of the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General, Anthem offered an initial two years of credit monitoring to all affected U.S. individuals.
In addition to this settlement, Anthem previously entered into a class-action settlement that established a $115 million fund to pay for additional credit monitoring, cash payments of up to $50 and reimbursement for out-of-pocket losses for affected consumers. The deadlines for consumers to submit claims under that settlement have since passed.
Attorney General Nessel is part of this settlement along with the attorneys general of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The Michigan Department of Attorney General has issued a consumer alert on email scams encouraging residents to beware of fraudulent emails and other attempts to steal personal and financial information.