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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Cybersecurity experts say the hacking attack against a health insurance database could be a sign that hackers have shifted their focus away from retailers and toward other targets.
The nation's second-largest insurer, Anthem, says the hackers got into a database storing information for about 80 million people. They were able to get information including names, birthdates and Social Security numbers. But the company says it has no evidence that medical information was targeted or taken.
Now that retailers like Target and Home Depot that have been the victims of previous hacking attacks have shored-up their defenses, experts say hackers are looking elsewhere. Mark Bower of the cybersecurity firm Voltage security says security practices in health care are not as mature as they are in other industries. And he says hackers have multiple ways to get into a system that links insurers, care providers, labs and others.
The head of another cybersecurity firm, Hexadite, says medical data can also be used to extort patients, with hackers demanding money to prevent the release of sensitive information. Eran Barak says this attack may have been a probe to test the company's defenses.
030-c-17-(Shirley Smith, AP correspondent)-"even email addresses"-AP correspondent Shirley Smith reports health insurer Anthem says hackers have infiltrated its computer network. (5 Feb 2015)
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029-v-33-(Shirley Smith, AP correspondent)--Hackers have infiltrated a big insurance company. AP correspondent Shirley Smith reports. (5 Feb 2015)
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APPHOTO INMC103: The Anthem logo hangs at the health insurer's corporate headquarters in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. Hackers broke into the company's database storing information for about 80 million people in an attack bound to stoke fears many Americans have about the privacy of their most sensitive information. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (5 Feb 2015)
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