Chinese National Indicted in Anthem Data Breach

Posted: Updated:
(photo courtesy of Anthem) (photo courtesy of Anthem)
INDIANAPOLIS -

A federal grand jury has indicted a Chinese national on charges related to the 2015 data breach of Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM). The U.S. Department of Justice says Fujie Wang and other members of a hacking group operating in China used "extremely sophisticated" techniques to hack into the computer networks of Anthem and three other large, though unnamed, businesses in the United States. 

Wang, along with another person being identified as John Doe, are each being charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in relation to computers and identity theft, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and two substantive counts of intentional damage to a protected computer.

The indictment says the defendants hacked into the computer networks in February 2014 and installed malware and tools which were used to identify data of interest, including personally identifiable information and confidential business information. The data stolen from Anthem affected more than 78 million people and included names, health identification numbers, Social Security numbers, addresses, and employment information, among others.

"The allegations in the indictment unsealed today outline the activities of a brazen China-based computer hacking group that committed one of the worst data breaches in history," Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski said in a news release. "These defendants allegedly attacked U.S. businesses operating in four distinct industry sectors, and violated the privacy of over 78 million people by stealing their PII. The Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners are committed to protecting PII, and will aggressively prosecute perpetrators of hacking schemes like this, wherever they occur."

The DOJ says the defendants allegedly used techniques including the sending of specially-tailored "spearfishing" emails with embedded hyperlinks. Once a user clicked on one of those links, a file was downloaded that could deploy the malware. The indictment says the defendants would wait for months before taking further action.

"Anthem's cooperation and openness in working with the FBI on the investigation of this sophisticated cyber-attack was imperative in allowing for the identification of these individuals," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Grant Mendenhall. "It should also be noted that the speed with which Anthem initially notified the FBI of the intrusion on their networks was also a key factor in being able to determine who was responsible for the breach and should serve as an example to other organizations that might find themselves in a similar situation."

Anthem would later reach settlement agreements in 2017 and 2018 over the breach, to the tune of more than $130 million. 

  • Perspectives

    • The Race for a Winning Credit Score

      It’s May in Indy and the sound of revving racecar engines signals good times to come. But try to keep your spending under the yellow flag. Overspending on credit cards during the festivities could turn that May engine roar into a dreaded credit score “dent” come June. That’s not a great way to kick off summer. Here’s what to watch out for so your credit score will be a winner! FICO Credit-Scoring System The FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) is the most...
    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • New Owners Coming For Indiana Casinos

      Two Indiana casinos will soon be under new ownership. Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: PNK), which owns Ameristar Casino and Hotel in East Chicago and Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, is set to be acquired by Penn National Gaming Inc. (Nasdaq: PENN) in a $2.8 billion deal.

    • Governor Announces OMB Director Change

      Governor Eric Holcomb has named Cris Johnston Office of management and budget director. He previously served eight years for then Gov. Mitch Daniels as the executive director of the Office of Management and Budget’s division of government efficiency and later, as deputy chief of staff. Johnston will take over for Micah Vincent who is leaving the administration.
    • (photo courtesy of ArcelorMittal)

      ArcelorMittal Investing $160M at Burns Harbor

      Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal has announced plans to invest more than $160 million in its Burns Harbor steel mill. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the steelmaker's investment will focus on several areas within the facility over the next several years.

    • I-65 INDOT construction map

      I-65 Construction Update

      Construction work is scheduled to start next week on I-65 near downtown Indianapolis. Indiana Department of Transportation crews will begin to clean up the interstates after two years of freeze/thaw cycles. Crews will be working in segments, including patching and repaving work. INDOT crews will begin work in earnest on northbound and southbound in segments, beginning on weekend nights from April 26 through August.  

    • (photo courtesy of Reid Health)

      Reid Health To Acquire Fayette Regional Health System

      Reid Health has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Fayette Regional Health System of Connersville. The announcement comes after Fayette Regional filed for protection under Chapter 11 in October 2018. Specific terms will be disclosed in the bankruptcy case and will include a $12.75M payment to the bankruptcy estate of Fayette. The deal requires bankruptcy and regulatory approval and is expected to be finalized in mid-July this year.