Ohio police, fire dispatch center hacked (UPDATED)

UPDATE of July 6: Wooster’s Law Director clarified for me that the data that were compromised came from police incident reports, which includes names and social security numbers and/or driver’s license numbers. The dispatch system is not a HIPAA-covered entity. According to Ms Applebaum, this incident was not related to WannaCry and the city has “measures in place to prevent release of this information. So no data was lost, stolen or damaged.” Good to hear! 

Previous coverage:

Tiffany Tarpley reports:

A joint law enforcement dispatching computer network that includes the Ashland police and fire departments was hacked, compromising more than 200,000 records.

The Wooster-Ashland Regional Council of Governments (WARCOG) provides 911-emergency dispatching for Ashland, Wooster, Orrville and Kidron.

Wooster Law Director Linda Applebaum issued a news release saying the breach occurred May 26. The FBI notified WARCOG on Wednesday.

Read more on WKYC.

This incident needs to be watched, as it’s not yet clear to me whether HIPAA is implicated or not and how much health/medical information may be in the hacked records, etc.

Update: here’s the text of the July 1 press release from WOOSTER-ASHLAND REGIONAL COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS:

On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, the FBI notified us that the Wooster-Ashland Regional Council of Governments computer network was breached and more than 200,000 records in our system were compromised.

The breach occurred on May 26, 2017 and is a federal crime. We are fully cooperating with the FBI’s investigation.

The privacy of our constituents and the confidentiality of their personal information are of critical importance to us and we are taking this incident very seriously. We will be providing free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services to people affected by the breach. We are reaching out to everyone whose records were involved in this breach to inform them of the steps they can take to activate these services, and we encourage them to do so.

We regret that this incident occurred. Unfortunately, we know these scams are becoming routine – and increasingly sophisticated. FBI agents have repeatedly assured us that we have taken the correct steps to be ahead of the game in terms of security. Nevertheless, we are conducting a thorough review of all of our network protocols, policies and procedures to reduce the risk of an incident like this happening again.

For further information, contact: Linda Applebaum, Director of Law City of Wooster

Phone: 330-263-5248
Email: [email protected]

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