CATHOLIC CHARITIES NOTIFIES CLIENTS OF CYBER ATTACK OF COMPUTERIZED RECORDS
A computer server in the Glens Falls office of Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties was the target of a cyberattack that may have exposed personal information of some agency clients and personnel. Catholic Charities has notified law enforcement authorities and is reaching out to potentially affected individuals.
Catholic Charities personnel conducting computer security upgrades discovered the presence of unauthorized software on the computer server and engaged an information technology firm to investigate.
The investigation determined that information stored on the server for approximately 4,600 current and former clients, and several employees, may have been accessed. The stored information included in some cases personal health information such as names, addresses, dates of birth, dates of services and diagnosis codes, as well as some health insurance identification numbers, which may include Social Security numbers. The server did not contain case notes about individual clients’ treatment or therapy, or financial or banking information. Information about donors or clients of other Catholic Charities agencies was not stored on the server and was not affected.
Though Catholic Charities has no information to indicate that the personal information of any individual was actually accessed, stolen or disseminated, the agency has taken steps to notify the potentially affected people who received services at Catholic Charities’ Saratoga, Glens Falls, or Schenectady offices.
When the breach was discovered, Catholic Charities immediately took steps to end the hackers’ unauthorized access to the server and to further enhance the security of its servers. The agency has notified the New York State Police, the Attorney General’s Office, the Division of Consumer Protection and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The hack was discovered on August 30, 2017, and a forensic analysis conducted over the last several weeks determined that the illegal access to the server may date back to 2015.
For the potentially affected individuals, Catholic Charities is offering identify theft and credit monitoring free of charge for one year and has established a special telephone number to provide additional information and assistance. If you received services from Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren, and Washington Counties and are concerned about your personal information, please contact the Saratoga office of Catholic Charities at 518-587-5000.
“We take very seriously our responsibility for protecting private information, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our clients and staff,” said Sister Charla Commins, CSJ, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties. “Our mission is to help people in need, and as we do this work every day, we are always mindful of our responsibility to protect the information they share with us. We have modern digital security measures in place, but every day it seems criminals intent on invading computer systems find new ways to do so.”
Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties helps more than 5,000 people each year and offers a wide spectrum of services including individual and family counseling, nutrition outreach and education, mentoring, support for victims of domestic violence, a community home for the dying, and emergency assistance.
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