Skip to content Skip to navigation

Report: Chinese Hackers Suspected in Anthem Incident

February 6, 2015
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints
The hack of Anthem, which affected 80 million people, is suspected to be the work of Chinese data thefts, according to a report in The Washington Post
If true, the hack would mark the second major hack the Chinese have perpetrated on an American healthcare organization in the past year. This past summer, hackers from China got into the IT systems of Community Health, a large hospital chain based in Tennessee, and accessed 4.5 million patient records. 
The Washington Post cited sources that say investigators believe that the hack on Anthem was the work of the Chinese. The source also indicated that other healthcare companies may have been targeted. Another report, from Bloomberg, says that the hack follows the path of similar incidents with foreigners seeking personally identifiable data from large sets of U.S. commercial and government networks. The Bloomberg report also notes that the malware analyzed by experts indicates that most of the exploitation activities emanated from a Chinese infrastructure. 
In a previous interview, Chris Van Pelt, principal in the healthcare IT practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory LLC, told HCI that healthcare organizations may find themselves in the crosshairs of foreign governments and other crime syndicates looking to gain intellectual property. This is what happened with Community Health and now reportedly Anthem has been victimized too. 
After the Community hack, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) sent a warning to healthcare organizations to be on the look out for these types of hacks. Anthem says it is currently working with Anthem to discover the source of the hack.


Texas Patient Care Clinic Hit with Ransomware Attack

Grand Prairie, Texas-based Rainbow Children's Clinic was the victim of a ransomware attack on its IT systems in August, affecting more than 33,000 patients, according to multiple news media reports this week.

Healthcare Organizations Again Go to Bat for AHRQ

Healthcare organizations are once again urging U.S. Senate and House leaders to protect the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) from more budget cuts for 2017.

ONC Pilot Projects Focus on Using, Sharing Patient-Generated Health Data

Accenture Federal Services (AFS) has announced two pilot demonstrations with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to determine how patient-generated health data can be used by care teams and researchers.

Is it Unethical to Identify Patients as “Frequent Flyers” in Health IT Systems?

Several researchers from the University of Pennsylvania addressed the ethics of behavioral health IT as it relates to “frequent flyer” icons and the potential for implicit bias in an article published in JAMA.

St. Joseph Health to Pay $2.14M in HIPAA Settlement

St. Joseph Health (SJH) has agreed to settle potential violations of the HIPAA privacy and security rules following reports that files containing sensitive health data were publicly accessible through Internet search engines from 2011 to 2012.

Indian Health Service and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Partner on Pediatric Telehealth

The Department of Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) plans to partner with the Indian Health Service (IHS) to create a pediatric specialty consultation service using telehealth for American Indian and Alaska Native children served by IHS.