SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Premera Blue Cross Data Breach Investigated



March 17, 2015
Tuesday PM

(SitNews) - Milberg LLP, a nationally recognized leader in protecting the rights of consumers, including those harmed by data security breaches, announced today that it is investigating potential violations of the federal and state laws by Premera Blue Cross in connection with a massive data breach.

Steelhead Electerical LLC - Ketchikan, Alaska

Schmolck Mechanical Contractors - Ketchiikan, Alaska

Madison Lumber & Hardware - True Value - Ketchikan, Alaska

SitNews reported last month that close to 34,000 Alaskans may have been impacted by a sophisticated cyber attack on Anthem, a member of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

However, not until today did Premera Blue Cross announced their recent discovery that cyberattackers had executed this sophisticated attack attempting to gain unauthorized access to its Information Technology (IT) systems.

According to today's news release, Premera's investigation thus far revealed that the initial attack occurred on May 5, 2014. As part of its investigation, Premera notified the FBI and is coordinating with the Bureau's investigation into this attack. Premera said it has also worked closely with Mandiant, one of the world's leading cybersecurity firms, to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the incident and to remove the infection created by the attack.

Premera Blue Cross, one of the largest health insurers in the Pacific Northwest, found that hackers had broken into its network in May 2014 and accessed personal data of its customers. Premera Blue Cross did not discover the breach until January 29, 2015.

In a prepared statement, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) responded today to the news that the Premera Blue Cross IT system was hacked into, putting the security of millions of personal records at risk.

Murkowski said, “Today’s news that Premera Blue Cross’ information technology system was the target of a cyberattack is a clear indication that the protections for our private information must not only be sophisticated, they must be constantly improving to meet the ever-evolving nature of cyberattacks."

“As the Chairman of the Energy Committee, I view the cybersecurity safeguards in place in the nation’s electric grid as a model for public-private partnerships. Our medical records already document where our bodies are most vulnerable; we must make sure the information systems that carry such personal records are as robustly guarded as possible. I look forward to seeing the comprehensive cybersecurity bill being finalized by the various Senate committees of jurisdiction in the weeks to come," said Murkowski.

"The security of Premera's members' personal information remains a top priority. We at Premera take this issue seriously and sincerely regret the concern it may cause," said Jeff Roe, Chief Executive Officer, Premera. "As much as possible, we want to make this event our burden, not that of the affected individuals, by making services available today to help protect people's information."

“The privacy and security of all Alaskans remains a top priority of mine. This attack only underscores Congress’ need to support existing cyber security safeguards while searching for innovative solutions that keep pace with evolving threats," said Congressman Don Young (R-AK) in a prepared statement today.

Young said, “While information regarding this data breach is still being released, it’s important for Alaskans to be aware of this cyber attack and the resources being offered by Premera to minimize the impacts. According to Premera, letters to those impacted by this cyber attack will be mailed as early as today.”

This incident affected Premera Blue Cross, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, and its affiliate brands Vivacity and Connexion Insurance Solutions, Inc. Premera's investigation determined that the attackers may have gained unauthorized access to members' information, which could include members' name, date of birth, Social Security number, mailing address, email address, telephone number, member identification number, bank account information, and claims information, including clinical information. Individuals who do business with Premera and provided the company with their email address, personal bank account number, or Social Security number are also affected.

The investigation has not as yet determined that any such data was removed from Premera's systems. Premera also has no evidence to date that such data has been used inappropriately.

Premera announced today, it is beginning to mail letters to approximately 11 million affected individuals, and is providing two years of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services to those individuals. Premera also has established a dedicated call center for its members and other affected individuals. More information can be found at: According to a Premera news release, information involved in this incident dates back to 2002 and individuals who believe they are affected by this cyberattack but who have not received a letter by April 20, 2015, are encouraged to call the number listed at that website.

Along with steps taken to cleanse its IT system of issues raised by this cyberattack, Premera said it is taking additional actions to strengthen and enhance the security of its IT systems moving forward.

Milberg, investigating potential violations of the federal and state laws by Premera Blue Cross in connection with this massive data breach, previously served as a member of the court appointed consumer plaintiffs steering committee in litigation concerning the 2013 data breach that affected over 110 million Target shoppers. Milberg also currently represents a proposed class of Anthem, Inc. insureds for a breach of the insurer's network that affected over 78 million Anthem customers. The nation’s second largest health insurance company Anthem is a member of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

At this point, Premera does not believe that data was removed from their network.

If you have received a notification from Premera that your personal information has been accessed or if you are a member of Premera Blue Cross, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, Vivacity, or Connexion Insurance Solutions, Inc. and have questions about the Premera data breach, have any information about Premera, or if you would like to learn more about this potential matter please contact:

Andrei Rado, Esq.
Milberg LLP
One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th Fl.
New York, NY 10119-0165
Phone number: (800) 320-5081


Related News:

Free Identity Protection Offered After Anthem-Premera Data Breach
SitNews - February 27, 2015


Source of News: 

Milberg LLP

Premera Blue Cross ("Premera")

Office of U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski

Office of Congressman Don Young

Publish A Letter in SitNews

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2015
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

 Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.

E-mail your news & photos to

Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.