Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

April 9, 2014

City reports breach in data security

CROSSVILLE — Customers of the city of Crossville water department are being urged to review their financial statements after one of the city's internal websites was potentially accessible on the Internet.

At this time, the city has not received any reports that any accounts have been improperly accessed. Also, many city employees were potentially affected by the breach and none of those employees have found any irregularities on their bank statements. However, the city will provide one year of free credit monitoring to all affected water department customers.

On March 13, 2014, the city of Crossville learned that one of the city’s internal websites was potentially accessible on the Internet. All access to all city of Crossville archives from outside the city’s network was immediately terminated upon notification of the exposure.

The city immediately conducted an investigation and determined that the search engine Google had indexed the city of Crossville website and had included a large number of the city’s archived files in their search results. Most of the files were public record or contained no sensitive information; however, there were at least seven files that contained city of Crossville Water Department bank information for customers who enrolled in automatic bank draft payment. Examination of the city’s log files showed that the files containing customer bank information were available for viewing during the period of Sept. 20, 2013, to March 13, 2014.

The files accessed or viewed included the bank and account information of approximately 2,100 bank draft customers. The data that was viewable on the Internet

was data from Nov. 10, 2009, and Jan. 11, 2010. No other customers are

believed to be impacted by this event. Debit and/or credit cards were not affected by this breach, as the city does not store any credit/debit card information.

The city is devoting all necessary resources to enhance its information security policies and procedures in light of this incident to minimize the risk of such instances in the future. Google was notified on March 14, 2014 to remove all indices and cached pages from their search results. As of March 17, 2014, Google had completed this task.

Further, a “DO NOT INDEX” file has been placed within the city’s archives so that when the city resumes public access to archived public documents, the entire archive will not be searchable from Google or any other search engine. The city is reviewing the security structure of the archives and will be enlisting the assistance of an outside vendor to insure the security of sensitive information.

Additionally, the city alerted authorities and financial institutions immediately after the city discovered and confirmed the potential data breach, and the city is putting its full resources behind these efforts.

As a service to affected customers, the city has engaged the services of Lifelock to provide a free year of credit monitoring services to all affected water department customers. Further information on the Lifelock credit monitoring has been mailed to the affected customers.

If you are on the list of individuals whose information was released, or are contacted by the city of Crossville, law enforcement recommends that you monitor all your financial accounts closely. If you discover any suspicious or unusual activity on your accounts or suspect fraud, be sure to report it immediately to your financial institutions. In addition, you may contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or law enforcement to report incidents of identity theft or to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft.

To learn more, you can go to the FTC’s website, at, or call the FTC, at (877) IDTHEFT (438-4338) or write to Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580.

You may also obtain a periodic free credit report, or contact one of the credit reporting agencies to put a security freeze on your credit:

•Equifax, P.O. Box 7402741, Atlanta, GA 30374,; report credit fraud by calling (800) 525-6285; request a credit report by calling (800) 685-1111.

•TransUnion, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022,; report credit fraud by calling (800) 680-7289; request a credit report by calling (800) 888-4213.

•Experian (TRW), P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013,; report credit fraud, (888) 397-3742; request credit report, (888) 567-8688.

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