ID info of 130,000 Aetna customers at risk

December 12, 2006

By Anthony Gottschlich, Staff Writer

A lockbox holding personal information on approximately 130,000 Aetna health insurance members was stolen Oct. 26 when thieves broke into an office building occupied by an Aetna vendor, Aetna officials said Tuesday.

The lockbox, housed by Naperville, Ill.-based Concentra Preferred Systems, contained computer backup tapes of medical claim data for Aetna and several other Concentra health plan clients, Aetna spokeswoman Cynthia Michener said.

But because other stolen items included cash, DVD players and other "pawnable items," authorities feel the burglary was the work of common thieves, not sophisticated crooks looking to steal identities.

"We believe the likelihood of anyone successfully accessing or compromising the data to be low," Michener said.

Concentra released a statement saying it's unlikely the data could be successfully accessed because it would require a complex combination of commercial equipment and special software packages that are in unlabeled formats and difficult to understand.

"These tapes cannot be used on a standard PC," Concentra officials said.

Michener did not immediately know how many plan members in Ohio were affected. Aetna serves approximately 29.8 million people nationwide.

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