Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority ("CMHA") Provides Notice Of Data Privacy Incident
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CLEVELAND, April 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority ("CMHA") is providing notice of a recent incident that may affect the security of information pertaining to individuals. The confidentiality, privacy, and security of information in CMHA's care is one of its highest priorities and CMHA takes this incident very seriously.  Although CMHA has not received any reports of actual or attempted misuse of the impacted information, CMHA is providing this notice in an abundance of caution.

What Happened?  On February 10, 2021, CMHA became aware of suspicious activity within its computer network. CMHA immediately began an investigation to determine the nature and scope of the activity. Our investigation determined that certain files within our environment were encrypted and inaccessible as part of a ransomware attack.  On February 26, 2021, we confirmed that certain files had been accessible to unknown actors. CMHA then worked to identify those individuals whose information may have been accessible to the unauthorized actor. To date, we have been unable to determine which specific files were accessed.

What Information Was Involved?  We have no evidence that personal information was subject to actual or attempted misuse. Out of an abundance of caution, CMHA provided notification of this incident because name, address, Social Security number, driver's license  and/or financial information may have been present in potentially accessed servers. While we cannot confirm if any of information was accessed, we are providing notice of the full scope of what could have been compromised.

What Are We Doing?  The confidentiality, privacy, and security of information in our care is one of our highest priorities, and we take this incident very seriously. When we discovered this incident, we immediately launched an investigation and took steps to secure our systems and determine what data may be at risk. We are required to notify consumer reporting agencies of this incident, as well.   As part of our ongoing commitment to the security of information in our care, we are working to review our existing policies and procedures and implement additional safeguards.

For More Information.  You may have questions about this incident that are not addressed in this letter. If you have additional questions and are impacted by this incident, please write to CMHA at 8120 Kinsman Road, Cleveland, Ohio, 44104 or call CMHA at our dedicated assistance line at 1-855-654-0918, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST, excluding national holidays.

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What Can You Do.  CMHA sincerely regrets any inconvenience this incident may have caused.  CMHA encourages you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review your account statements, and to monitor your credit reports for suspicious activity. Under U.S. law you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. You may also contact the three major credit bureaus directly to request a free copy of your credit report.

You have the 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. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a security freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. Pursuant to federal law, you cannot be charged to place or lift a security freeze on your credit report. Should you wish to place a security freeze, please contact the major consumer reporting agencies listed below:

Experian

P.O. Box 9554

Allen, TX 75013

1-888-397-3742

www.experian.com/freeze/center.html
TransUnion

P.O. Box 160

Woodlyn, PA 19094

1-888-909-8872

www.transunion.com/credit-freeze
Equifax

P.O. Box 105788

Atlanta, GA 30348-5788

1-800-685-1111

www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services

In order to request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:
  1. Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
  2. Social Security number;
  3. Date of birth;
  4. If you have moved in the past five (5) years, provide the addresses where you have lived over the prior five years;
  5. Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
  6. A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver's license or ID card, military identification, etc.);
  7. If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft.

As an alternative to a security freeze, you have the right to place an initial or extended "fraud alert" on your file at no cost.  An initial fraud alert is a 1-year alert that is placed on a consumer's credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer's credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer's identity before extending new credit. If you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years.  Should you wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any one of the agencies listed below:

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Experian

P.O. Box 9554

Allen, TX 75013

1-888-397-3742

www.experian.com/fraud/center.html
TransUnion

P.O. Box 2000

Chester, PA 19016

1-800-680-7289

www.transunion.com/fraud-victim-resource/place-fraud-alert
Equifax

P.O. Box 105069

Atlanta, GA 30348

1-888-766-0008

www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services

You can further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, security freezes, and the steps you can take to protect yourself by contacting the consumer reporting agencies, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General.

The Federal Trade Commission can be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580, www.identitytheft.gov, 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. You can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above. You have the right to file a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud. Please note that in order to file a report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide some proof that you have been a victim. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement and your state Attorney General. This notice has not been delayed by law enforcement.

SOURCE Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authoritystats
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