Detroit reports city employee email accounts breach; DWSD customer info could be compromised

Photo does not have a caption

DETROIT – The city of Detroit announced Thursday that a handful of city employee email accounts were potentially exposed during a breach of data, possibly compromising hundreds of water department customers’ sensitive information.

The breach occurred on Jan. 16, the city said. The Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) was able to “quickly respond and contain the breach to fewer than 10 affected accounts,” reads a statement from the city. The department also is working with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies investigating the incident.

Some of the compromised accounts contained sensitive data belonging to city of Detroit employees, Chief Information Office Beth Niblock said. The “vast majority” of this data was encrypted, according to the city. City employees were notified Thursday of the breach. The city said that in the next 1-2 weeks a letter will be sent to their home with signup instructions and a code to initiate their free credit monitoring, should they choose to take advantage of it.

“At this time, there is no evidence – and it is highly unlikely – that any of this personal data was accessed. However, out of an abundance of caution and care for the privacy and security of our employees, the City of Detroit will be offering free credit monitoring services for a period of one year,” Niblock said.

DWSD customers’ info may be compromised

The city also said that as part of this breach sensitive information from fewer than 300 of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s (DWSD) customers could have been compromised, too.

“Also out of an abundance of caution DWSD, which has more than 240,000 individual customer accounts, will be reaching out directly to the customers potentially affected, who also will be provided free credit monitoring for one year,” reads a statement from the city.

Related: Michigan Medicine issues alert after data breach exposes personal information of patients

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.