Hot off the press, information has been gathered and a security breach has occurred. The United Illuminating CO., Connecticut Natural Gas and Southern Connecticut were the victims this time, meaning a potential 52,000 Avangrid customers were affected.
Just this Thursday, it was discovered that Avangrid, a leader in the U.S. energy industry, has had a large scale breach due to a third party vendor. Letters have been sent out to customers informing them of the breach of the three utilities by the TIO networks, and informed that their bank account numbers and information may have been involved in the breach.
The letter stated there was unauthorized access to the TIO networks, including locations that stored customer information, including information of customers of the companies that TIO services. They follow up saying that they have no proof that there was any specific abuse of customer information, only that it’s possible that it was taken by unauthorized parties.
The information that may have been stolen includes names, contact information, subscriber/billing account numbers, payment card information, bank account info, SSN and other government identification numbers, as well as account user names and passwords. As an attempt to apologize and make up for the issue at hand, TIO Networks is offering customers whose information may have been breached, a full year of complimentary identity protection that includes credit monitoring, identity theft insurance, and assistance with combating identity theft/fraud.
This data breach comes just a day after the announcement that Avangrid would be working with Western Union to accept walk-in payments from customers of three utilities as well as Berkshire Gas of Massachusetts. This was not an option before due to security concerns once TIO Networks was acquired by PayPay in July, and the suspension of the service lasted an entire month. It would seem it should have lasted longer.
The scope of this security breach reaches more than 52,000 people when other interactions on the network are taken into account, possibly making this a larger issue than initially realized. Time will tell what comes of this breach.
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