Two utility companies in New York have suffered a privacy breach after an employee at an independent software development consulting firm they were both under contract with allowed unauthorised access to the companies’ customer information databases. New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas and Electric, subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA, now have to notify hundreds of thousands of customers across New York.
There is no evidence that the breach was intentional or that the information has been misused. Nevertheless, the data exposed included customers’ Social Security numbers, dates of birth and some financial institution account numbers. Both companies are consulting with law enforcement and computer forensic experts as well as paying the costs of notifying customers and offering a free credit monitoring service. Combined, this is likely to run into the millions.