Notice of Data Security Incident
July 27, 2021
Allegheny Intermediate Unit Notifies Individuals of Data Security Incident
On January 22, 2021, Allegheny Intermediate Unit (the AIU) identified a security incident that resulted in data on certain devices becoming encrypted. Beginning immediately after the incident and in the period since, the AIU took steps to address the incident and restore operations. One such measure was to engage a cybersecurity firm to conduct a thorough investigation. The investigation determined that in the days before encryption occurred, there was unauthorized access to certain files saved on some AIU file servers.
WHAT INFORMATION WAS INVOLVED?: After the forensic investigation and the AIU’s review of the files that were identified as having been accessed, the AIU determined that the files included information about some current and former employees, as well as their dependents and beneficiaries (if they participated in the AIU’s health or other benefit plans), and sole proprietor vendors who received an IRS Form 1099 from the AIU (for tax years 2013 through 2020). The information in the files included names, addresses, email addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and Tax Identification Numbers of sole-proprietor vendors.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: We wanted to notify you of this incident and advise you to remain vigilant by reviewing your financial account statements and credit reports for any unauthorized activity. If you notice any unauthorized activity, you should notify the relevant financial institution or credit bureau that reported the unauthorized activity immediately.
The AIU regrets any inconvenience you may experience as a result of this incident. To further protect personal information, we have implemented additional security measures to enhance the security of our network. These enhancements include: a multifactor authentication system, advanced endpoint threat detection, other monitoring and rapid-response tools, and increased use of cloud-based applications. For some additional steps you can take to protect yourself, please see the information below.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: If you have additional questions, please call the dedicated call center established for the matter at 1-800-939-4170, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 am and 9:00 pm, Eastern Time.
ADDITIONAL STEPS YOU CAN TAKE
We remind you it is always advisable to be vigilant for incidents of fraud or identity theft by reviewing your account statements and credit reports for any unauthorized activity. You may obtain a copy of your credit report, free of charge, once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. To order your annual free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call this toll-free number: 1-877-322-8228. You can also contact the three nationwide credit reporting companies below:
- Equifax, PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374, www.equifax.com, 1-800-685-1111
- Experian, PO Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013, www.experian.com, 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion, PO Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016, www.transunion.com, 1-800-916-8800
If you believe you are the victim of identity theft or have reason to believe your personal information has been misused, you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission and/or the Attorney General’s office in your state. You can obtain information from these sources about steps an individual can take to avoid identity theft as well as information about fraud alerts and security freezes. You may also consider contacting your local law enforcement authorities and filing a police report. You may be asked to provide a copy of the police report to creditors to correct your records. Contact information for the Federal Trade Commission is below:
- Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580, 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338), www.ftc.gov/idtheft
Fraud Alerts: There are two types of general fraud alerts you can place on your credit report to put your creditors on notice that you may be a victim of fraud—an initial alert and an extended alert. You may ask that an initial fraud alert be placed on your credit report if you suspect you have been, or are about to be, a victim of identity theft. An initial fraud alert stays on your credit report for one year. You may have an extended alert placed on your credit report if you have already been a victim of identity theft [with the appropriate documentary proof]. An extended fraud alert stays on your credit report for seven years.
To place a fraud alert on your credit reports, contact one of the nationwide credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, or Trans Union). A fraud alert is free. The credit reporting company you contact must tell the other two, and all three will place an alert on their versions of your report.
For those in the military who want to protect their credit while deployed, an Active Duty Military Fraud Alert lasts for one year and can be renewed for the length of your deployment. The credit reporting companies will also take you off their marketing lists for pre-screened credit card offers for two years, unless you ask them not to.
Credit or Security Freezes: You have the right to put a credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, on your credit file, free of charge, which makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. That’s because most creditors need to see your credit report before they approve a new account. If they can’t see your report, they may not extend the credit.
How do I place a freeze on my credit reports? There is no fee to place or lift a security freeze. Unlike a fraud alert, you must separately place a security freeze on your credit file at each credit reporting company. For information and instructions to place a security freeze, contact each of the credit reporting companies at the addresses below:
- Experian Security Freeze, PO Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013, www.experian.com
- TransUnion Security Freeze, PO Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016, www.transunion.com
- Equifax Security Freeze, PO Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348, www.equifax.com
You will need to supply your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information.
After receiving your freeze request, each credit reporting company will provide you with a unique PIN (personal identification number) or password. Keep the PIN or password in a safe place. You will need it if you choose to lift the freeze.
A freeze remains in place until you ask the credit reporting company to temporarily lift it or remove it altogether. If the request is made online or by phone, a credit reporting company must lift a freeze within one hour. If the request is made by mail, then the reporting company must lift the freeze no later than three business days after getting your request.
If you opt for a temporary lift of the freeze because you are applying for credit or a job, and you can find out which credit bureau the business will contact for your file, you can save some time by lifting the freeze only at that particular credit bureau. Otherwise, you need to make the request with all three credit reporting companies.
Connecticut: You may contact and obtain information from your state attorney general at: Connecticut Attorney General’s Office, 165 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT 06106, 1-860-808-5318, www.ct.gov/ag
District of Columbia: You can contact the AIU by mail at 475 E. Waterfront Dr., Homestead, PA 15120 or by telephone at 412-394-4521. You may contact and obtain information from your attorney general at: Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, 441 4th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001, 1-202-727-3400, www.oag.dc.gov
Maryland: You can contact the AIU by mail at 475 E. Waterfront Dr., Homestead, PA 15120. You may contact and obtain information from your state attorney general at: Maryland Attorney General’s Office, 200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202, 1-888-743-0023 / 1-410-576-6300, www.oag.state.md.us
Massachusetts: Under Massachusetts law, you have the right to file and obtain a copy of a police report. You also have the right to request a security freeze, as described above. You may contact and obtain information from your state attorney general at: Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General, One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108, 1-617-727-8400, www.mass.gov/ago/contact-us.html
New York: You may contact and obtain information from these state agencies:
- New York Department of State Division of Consumer Protection, One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12231-0001, 518-474-8583 / 1-800-697-1220, http://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection
- New York State Office of the Attorney General, The Capitol, Albany, NY 12224-0341, 1-800-771-7755, https://ag.ny.gov
North Carolina: You may contact and obtain information from your state attorney general at: North Carolina Attorney General’s Office, 9001 Mail Service Centre, Raleigh, NC 27699, 1-919-716-6000 / 1-877-566-7226, www.ncdoj.gov
Rhode Island: Under Rhode Island law, you have the right to file and obtain a copy of a police report. You also have the right to request a security freeze, as described above. You may contact and obtain information from your state attorney general at: Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, 150 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903, 1-401-274-4400, www.riag.ri.gov
West Virginia: You have the right to ask that nationwide consumer reporting agencies place "fraud alerts" in your file to let potential creditors and others know that you may be a victim of identity theft, as described above. You also have a right to place a security freeze on your credit report, as described above.
A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act: The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. There are many types of consumer reporting agencies, including credit reporting companies and specialty agencies (such as agencies that sell information about check writing histories, medical records, and rental history records). Your major rights under the FCRA are summarized below. For more information, including information about additional rights, go to www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore or write to: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street N.W., Washington, DC 20552.
- You must be told if information in your file has been used against you.
- You have the right to know what is in your file.
- You have the right to ask for a credit score.
- You have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information.
- Consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information.
- Consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information.
- Access to your file is limited.
- You must give your consent for reports to be provided to employers.
- You may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report.
- You have a right to place a “security freeze” on your credit report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in your credit report without your express authorization.
- You may seek damages from violators.
- Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have additional rights.