LOS ANGELES - The hackers behind the massive cyberattack of insurance giant Anthem were acting on behalf of a foreign government, the California Department of Insurance said.
The California Department of Insurance released its findings on Friday, though it did not name which foreign government was linked to the attack.
In 2015, hackers broke into Anthem's database that stored information for nearly 80 million people, gaining access to sensitive personal information. They accessed Social Security numbers, birthdates and employment details for customers, all key ingredients for stealing someone's identity.
MORE: Anthem hack may have impacted millions of non-customers
It all started when someone within Anthem opened a phishing email containing malicious content. Hackers were then able to remotely access at least 90 other systems within Anthem.
The California Department of Insurance is now calling on the federal government to be proactive in preventing these attacks by holding foreign governments accountable - similar to what President Barack Obama did when he dished out sanctions to Russia over alleged hacking during our recent presidential race.
MORE: Anthem cyberattack - what could happen to your information
Anthem released the following statement regarding the hack:
Anthem has been working closely with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for nearly two years following the cyber-attack against the company. We have cooperated fully with its multistate targeted market conduct and financial exam. We intend to fully comply with any NAIC requirements. Anthem takes the security of its information and the personal information of consumers very seriously and is committed to protecting the data of its customers.
The California Department of Insurance says Anthem has agreed to make $260 million worth of improvements to its information security systems. It will also provide credit protection to consumers whose information was compromised.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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