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Privacy Briefs: June 2019

◆ Two men were indicted last month in connection with the data breach at Anthem Inc., which siphoned more than 78.8 million customer and employee records between 2014 and 2015. The Department of Justice (DOJ) unsealed an indictment against two people who prosecutors say are part of a sophisticated hacking network group based in China that was behind the Anthem data breach. The group also was involved in attacks against three other U.S. businesses, DOJ said, although it did not name the group or the other three businesses. The two men, one of whom the DOJ named as Fujie Wang, 32, and the other of whom is simply “John Doe” in the indictment, face 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 counts of intentional damage to a protected computer. The indictment was unsealed in Indianapolis, where Anthem is based. According to the indictment, the defendants used sophisticated techniques to hack into the computer networks of the victim businesses without authorization, and then installed malware and tools to further compromise the networks of the victim businesses. As part of the computer intrusion and data breach of Anthem, the defendants identified and ultimately stole data concerning more than 78 million people, including names, health identification numbers, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, employment information and income data, according to the indictment. Read the DOJ statement at https://bit.ly/2Q0mqAG.

◆ Washington State University has agreed to pay up to $4.7 million in cash reimbursements, attorneys fees and administrative expenses, plus two years of credit monitoring and insurance services for nearly 1.2 million people in a case involving a stolen hard drive. The hard drive, stolen from a self-storage locker in 2017, included information such as Social Security numbers, names, addresses, career and health data, and college admissions scores. The data had been collected over a 15-year period by the school’s Social and Economic Sciences Research Center. The university also agreed to improve data security as part of the settlement. Learn more at https://bit.ly/2QzaFSh.

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