566,217 Clients of Chicago-Based Health Underwriter Impacted by Data Breach

The Chicago-based health underwriter Bankers Life, a branch of CNO Financial Group Inc., has found hackers gained access to its systems and possibly thieved the private information of over half a million people.

Bankers Life offers a variety of insurance facilities to clients, including life insurance, long-term care insurance, health insurance, and Medicare additional insurance and is the biggest branch of CNO Financial Group.

Hackers initially gained access to its systems between May 30 and September 13, 2018. Bankers Life said it found the breach on August 7, 2018.

The hackers gained access to a variety of sensitive personal information of a ‘limited number’ of its workers. A ‘limited group’ of clients had names, diagnoses, medication information, state identification numbers, bank account numbers, driver’s license numbers, Social Security numbers, and treatment information disclosed. The protected health information (PHI) of a much bigger group of clients was also possibly retrieved by the hackers. For that group, names, dates of service, premium amounts, insurance type, insurance policy numbers, dates of birth, addresses, claim amounts, and the last four numbers of Social Security numbers were possibly thieved.

Bankers Life appointed a third-party computer forensics detective to carry out an inquiry into the breach to decide how access was gained to its systems and the level of the breach. The details of how the hackers gained access to its systems haven’t been publicly released.

Bankers Life has now taken steps to limit access to its systems, checking has been increased, and additional safety processes have now been implemented to avoid more breaches.

The exposure of the breach was postponed at the request of federal detectives. Affected clients are now being informed and have been presented free identity thievery repair and credit checking facilities.

The breach report presented to the Division of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights shows 566,217 clients have been affected by the breach.

The Bankers Life data breach is the fifth biggest healthcare data breach to be informed in 2018.