Express Scripts data breach may have hit 700,000 victims

Share this article:

Last year's data breach of St. Louis-based Express Scripts may be more serious than initially believed.

In November 2008, the major pharmacy benefit management firm said it received an anonymous letter that included the names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and, in some cases, prescription information of 75 members. The writer or writers threatened to release millions of more records if the business failed to pay an unspecified sum of money.

In the last two months, based on new information from the extortionists, Express Scripts began notifying more than 700,000 victims of their personal information may have been compromised.

After initially notifying only the 75 victims from last year, the company in August was told by the FBI that “…the perpetrator of the earlier action had recently forwarded a letter and data file to a law firm,” according to the company's website.

Maria Palumbo, spokeswoman for Express Scripts, would not elaborate on the contents of the letter.

“The FBI is conducting the investigation that was opened last fall,” she told Thursday. “It is still ongoing.”

The website points out, however, that FBI special agents contacted Express Scripts immediately, and the news was not good.

“The data shows that the extortionist possesses additional member records from the same period of time as those identified in the 2008 extortion attempt,” according to the website. “Express Scripts is in the process of notifying these members.”

According to Palumbo, most of the 700,000 notifications were sent as a result of the August FBI action.

The data thieves still threaten to expose the Social Security numbers, addresses, birth dates and prescription information of millions of patients of the pharmacy benefit management firm unless the company pays an undisclosed sum in extortion money. The company has offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the extortionists.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of SC Magazine to post a comment.

Sign up to our newsletters

More in News

CryptoWall surpasses CryptoLocker in infection rates

CryptoWall surpasses CryptoLocker in infection rates

A threat analysis from Dell SecureWorks CTU says that CryptoWall has picked up where its famous sibling left off.

Professor says Google search, not hacking, yielded medical info

Professor says Google search, not hacking, yielded medical ...

A professor of ethical hacking at City College San Francisco came forward to clarify that he did not demonstrate hacking a medical center's server in a class.

Syrian Malware Team makes use of enhanced BlackWorm RAT

Syrian Malware Team makes use of enhanced BlackWorm ...

FireEye analyzed the hacking group's use of the malware, dubbed the "Dark Edition" of BlackWorm.