Hackers breached a government healthcare system earlier this week, compromising the personal data for 75,000 individuals, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (via TechCrunch). The data was taken through a system used by insurance agents and brokers.
The CMS says that on October 13th, it detected “anomalous activity in the Federally Facilitated Exchanges, or FFE’s Direct Enrollment pathway for agents and brokers,” a system used by agents and brokers to help people applying for health insurance. CMS says that “approximately 75,000 individuals’ files were accessed,” and that after the breach was verified on the 16th, it took steps to secure the system.
The center says that it shut down the Direct Enrollment system to implement new security measures — it plans to have it up and running again in a week — and that it’s working to notify those who might be impacted to assist them with measures like credit protection.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma noted that this system is different from the consumer-facing Healthcare.gov website where the general public can sign up for healthcare coverage, and says that the breach won’t impact the upcoming open enrollment period, which begins on November 1st.