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Published on : Oct 28, 2015

US investigators conclude that Chinese hackers have targeted the U.S. health insurer Anthem to understand the overall set up of medical coverage in the U.S. as Beijing struggles with providing healthcare for the ageing population.

The disclosure about this possibility gives rise to a new twist in the case of cyber attack on Anthem, the healthcare insurer that is the second-largest in the U.S. Anthem had disclosed the breach of data from its database in February this year. The company had revealed that the data breach compromised personal data information of nearly 80 million people.

Along with Anthem, many other companies in the healthcare sector, including many hospitals and insurers, were also the victims of a cyber attack at a similar timeframe, according to people with internal information. Smaller insurance companies such as Premera have said that its databases were also compromised in March this year, which led to the breach of data concerning nearly 11 million people.

People investing the case of Anthem’s hacking state that Chinese hackers are intruding systems in the U.S. healthcare sector to understand how healthcare sectors and medical care systems operate in other countries.

As the vast population of China becomes increasingly affluent and more and more demanding, the sector of medical care is becoming one of the politically most sensitive sectors ahead of the Chinese government.

China has promised its citizens that they will receive universal access to quality medical care by the year 2020. But currently there is huge dissatisfaction at the consumer end regarding the quality and cost of healthcare in the country, a situation that is also leading to widespread attacks on medical staff in the country. A rapidly growing gap between the poor and rich in healthcare provision in the country is also highly alarming.

However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in China, Anthem, and Premera have chosen not to comment about the matter.