Eric Schiffer, a financier and online marketer, is also one of the 80 million customers of health insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross whose personal information was exposed in a cyber-attack, and on Newsmax TV
on Monday he sounded none too pleased about the distinction.
"This happened to so many different people, and it's a shame, it really is, when the CEO knew that this was likely," Schiffer, chairman and CEO of Patriarch Equity and DigitalMarketing.com, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.
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"The healthcare industry, bizarrely, is one of the few industries that's yet to modernize their cybersecurity technologies," said Schiffer. "And hopefully this is going to send a very strong message to this company."
Schiffer called for Anthem president and CEO Joseph R. Swedish
— who said his personal information was also stolen — to resign or be fired.
"They're remiss," said Schiffer. "The CEO is incompetent; he choked on this with 80 million of his customers."
"This didn't have to happen," he said, "and there are things that can be done as a CEO of a company to protect your organization and your clients, and they didn't do it, clearly."
"I mean they could have invested in the [computer security] infrastructure, and he's got an obligation when our personal information is on there: Social Security information, income information, your driver's license information, your address, your phone number," he said. "I mean, come on."
Customers hit by the latest hack should be on the lookout for phony inquiries that may resemble real contacts or correspondence from Anthem Blue Cross, but are actually just scams intended to get victims to part with even more sensitive personal and financial data, said Schiffer.
"So if there's anything coming from anything that looks like your healthcare provider, be very careful not to touch it or click on it or do anything, including receive phone calls, unless you're assured that it's them," he said.
Anthem is the latest casualty of high-profile hacks
since last year that have caused disruption, chaos and uncertainty for customers and employees of major corporations including Target, Home Depot and Sony.
Schiffer said he is comparatively lucky because he has help to check on and re-secure his personal information.
"But not everyone has the staff that I have," he said, "and so if you're a mother sitting at home or you're a single parent or you're a college student, this can take up hours and hours of your day and can take a good part of your week. It's very unfair."
Speculation about who broke into Anthem's computer systems has centered on China
. But no definitive culprit has been named yet.
"Some are saying the Chinese are involved because they're trying to get information on defense contractors and this is really what this is about," said Schiffer. "No one really knows. What we do know is that someone failed in their position, and the CEO should go."
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