"Sample Notification Letter to Clients" - Minnesota

Sample Notification Letter to Clients is a legal document that was released by the Minnesota Department of Human Services - a government authority operating within Minnesota.

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Minnesota Department of Human Services
Elmer L. Andersen Building Human Services Building
Commissioner Tony Lourey
Post Office Box 64998
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0998
April 9, 2019
[INSERT NAME]
[INSERT ADDRESS 1]
[INSERT ADDRESS 2 – IF EXISTS]
[INSERT ADDRESS CITY, STATE, ZIPCODE]
Dear [INSERT FIRST & LAST NAME]:
Because the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) respects and values the privacy of your
personal information, we want you to know about a data security incident involving the compromise of
the state email account of a DHS employee. We currently have no evidence that the information
contained in this account was actually viewed, downloaded, or misused in any way. However, in an
abundance of caution, we are providing you with this notice.
What happened? Minnesota’s executive agencies, including DHS, are the frequent target of increasingly
sophisticated cyberattacks. Partnering with Minnesota IT Services (MNIT), we have been able to
successfully defend against the vast majority of these cyberattacks. Unfortunately, on or before March
26, 2018, a hacker was able to gain access to the state email account of an employee in the Direct Care
and Treatment (DCT) administration of DHS. Once the hacker gained access to this account, the hacker
pretended to be the DCT employee and sent two emails to one of the DCT employee’s co-workers,
asking this co-worker to pay an “invoice” via a wire transfer. The employees quickly recognized that
these emails were suspicious, did not wire any money, and reported the emails to MNIT. It is possible
that, while in the account, the hacker viewed or downloaded some of the account’s contents.
What information was involved? The email account contained information about some people who
have interacted with DCT, including you. Examples of the type of information found in the email
account at the time it was compromised include: first and last names, dates of birth, contact
information, other demographic data, treatment data, legal history data, and/or information about you
or your family’s interactions with DCT. This account did not contain your Social Security number or
financial account information at the time it was compromised.
How did we respond to these data security incidents? MNIT is the information technology agency for
all of Minnesota’s executive branch, including DHS. Upon learning of this incident, MNIT immediately
took steps to secure the email account. MNIT then investigated this incident, and told us about the
results of its investigation on February 15, 2019. We also reported these incidents to the Federal Bureau
of Investigation, the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor, and the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services.
What are we doing to prevent future data security incidents? We continue to work hard to protect
against these and other types of data security incidents. We teach DHS employees about email best
practices and how to prevent and respond to data security incidents. We use the technology at our
Minnesota Department of Human Services
Elmer L. Andersen Building Human Services Building
Commissioner Tony Lourey
Post Office Box 64998
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0998
April 9, 2019
[INSERT NAME]
[INSERT ADDRESS 1]
[INSERT ADDRESS 2 – IF EXISTS]
[INSERT ADDRESS CITY, STATE, ZIPCODE]
Dear [INSERT FIRST & LAST NAME]:
Because the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) respects and values the privacy of your
personal information, we want you to know about a data security incident involving the compromise of
the state email account of a DHS employee. We currently have no evidence that the information
contained in this account was actually viewed, downloaded, or misused in any way. However, in an
abundance of caution, we are providing you with this notice.
What happened? Minnesota’s executive agencies, including DHS, are the frequent target of increasingly
sophisticated cyberattacks. Partnering with Minnesota IT Services (MNIT), we have been able to
successfully defend against the vast majority of these cyberattacks. Unfortunately, on or before March
26, 2018, a hacker was able to gain access to the state email account of an employee in the Direct Care
and Treatment (DCT) administration of DHS. Once the hacker gained access to this account, the hacker
pretended to be the DCT employee and sent two emails to one of the DCT employee’s co-workers,
asking this co-worker to pay an “invoice” via a wire transfer. The employees quickly recognized that
these emails were suspicious, did not wire any money, and reported the emails to MNIT. It is possible
that, while in the account, the hacker viewed or downloaded some of the account’s contents.
What information was involved? The email account contained information about some people who
have interacted with DCT, including you. Examples of the type of information found in the email
account at the time it was compromised include: first and last names, dates of birth, contact
information, other demographic data, treatment data, legal history data, and/or information about you
or your family’s interactions with DCT. This account did not contain your Social Security number or
financial account information at the time it was compromised.
How did we respond to these data security incidents? MNIT is the information technology agency for
all of Minnesota’s executive branch, including DHS. Upon learning of this incident, MNIT immediately
took steps to secure the email account. MNIT then investigated this incident, and told us about the
results of its investigation on February 15, 2019. We also reported these incidents to the Federal Bureau
of Investigation, the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor, and the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services.
What are we doing to prevent future data security incidents? We continue to work hard to protect
against these and other types of data security incidents. We teach DHS employees about email best
practices and how to prevent and respond to data security incidents. We use the technology at our
disposal to its fullest potential to prevent and mitigate data security incidents, and push for security
technology upgrades. We update relevant policies and procedures.
What should you do? Although we are not aware of any misuse of the information contained in the
email account, we suggest that you consider taking these steps to help protect against identity theft:
Ask to see your credit report. Under federal law, you have the right to receive a free copy of
your credit report every 12 months from each of the three consumer credit reporting
companies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). You may request these reports online at
www.annualcreditreport.com, by telephone at 877-322-8228, or by completing an Annual
Credit Report Request Form (available from www.annualcreditreport.com) and mailing it to
Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
Place a fraud alert or credit freeze on your credit files by contacting Equifax, Experian, or
TransUnion. More information about fraud alerts and credit freezes is available on the Federal
Trade Commission’s website (www.consumer.ftc.gov).
Call the telephone number listed on the credit report or visit the Federal Trade Commission’s
website on identity theft at www.consumer.gov/idtheft/ if you see anything in your credit
report that you do not understand.
Check your credit report and other financial statements for any transactions or accounts that
you do not recognize. If you find suspicious activity on your report or statements, contact your
local police or sheriff’s office to file a report.
Where can you get more information? If you have any questions or would like more information about
this data security incident, please write, email, or call us:
Minnesota Department of Human Services
Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center
ATTN: Health Information
3301 Seventh Avenue N.
Anoka, MN 55303
MN_DHS_DCTHealthInformation@state.mn.us
651-431-5020 or toll free 833-246-8262
We will also post information about this incident to our website (https://mn.gov/dhs/) and prepare a
report about this incident. You may ask us to send you a copy of this report by writing, emailing, or
calling us.
We sincerely regret this data security incident and apologize for any impact it may have on you or your
family.
Sincerely,
Tony Lourey
Commissioner
651-431-3206
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For accessible formats of this information or assistance with
additional equal access to human services, write to
MN_DHS_DCTHealthInformation@state.mn.us,
call 651-431-3206, or use your preferred relay service.
ADA1 (2-18)
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