Nationwide has posted a statement to customers on its website announcing a breach in their computer network, which they assert was “criminally attacked.”

In a statement to state regulators, the insurer has estimated that approximately 1.1 million people nationally could be affected by the breach, according to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

Reports from local sources are surfacing that the personal information of 91,000 Nationwide customers in Iowa and more than 8,000 in New Mexico according to the state’s Superintendent of Insurance John Franchini.

According to the insurer, the attack occurred October 3.

In the statement posted online, Nationwide states, “On November 2, 2012, we received confirmation of the identities and addresses of the individuals whose personal information we believe was compromised. Although we are still investigating the incident, our initial analysis has indicated that the compromised information included certain individuals’ name and Social Security number, driver’s license number and/or date of birth and possibly marital status, gender, and occupation, and the name and address of their employer.”

The company added that its initial investigation did not reveal any stolen medical information or credit card account information. In the statement posted online, customers are urged to take up the insurer on a one-year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection through Equifax. Customers who are believed to hold compromised information are also being mailed instructions.

A statement sent to INN from Elizabeth Giannetti, Nationwide communications consultant, states that, “Nationwide is working with law enforcement to investigate a criminal attack on a portion of its computer network that contained some personally identifiable information of current, former and prospective Nationwide and Allied Insurance customers. Nationwide is not aware of any misuse of personal information at this time.

“The attack occurred on October 3, 2012 and Nationwide immediately took steps to secure the network. The company hired independent, third-party experts to analyze the impacted data and computer network.”

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