Premera Blue Cross is on the receiving end of a proposed class action lawsuit that claims it failed to prevent and adequately warn consumers of a 'massive' data breach and exposed their personal information to identity theft.
Premera Blue Cross is on the receiving end of a proposed class action lawsuit that claims it failed to prevent and adequately warn consumers of a “massive” data breach and exposed their personal information to identity theft. The lawsuit names Premera as “one of the largest healthcare benefits companies in the Pacific Northwest” and notes that members of the healthcare industry are a significantly greater target for hackers, as medical identities can be sold on the black market for a premium price, according to the complaint. The suit alleges that Premera failed to implement “adequate measures to secure its network,” even after being warned by the FBI of an increased risk of attack and being directly informed by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management that its network was vulnerable. As a result of its negligence, Premera’s system was allegedly hacked in a security attack that remained undetected for almost a full year and exposed approximately 11 million former and current members to risk of identity theft.
Premera waited months after it learned of the data breach before revealing its existence to the public, allowing even more time for hackers to steal consumers’ personal information, the suit says. The plaintiffs in the suit allegedly suffered various consequences of identity theft as a result, including fraudulent tax returns, false credit card transactions, and the denial of credit to refinance a home. The plaintiffs argue that they may have avoided injuries had Premera delivered on its promise of security and had adequately warned them of the data breach, allowing them more time to protect their personal information.