Tallahassee Reports has learned that the vendor used by the City of Tallahassee to process utility payments has discovered evidence of unauthorized access to their network. The breach was discovered on November 10th.
In letters sent by TIO Networks to City utility customers, the company said the breach reached locations in the network that housed personal data. TIO Networks is owned by PayPal.
The letters, which began hitting mail boxes this week, stated “although we have no proof that your data was accessed, acquired, or misused, we are notifying you in an abundance of caution because the TIO servers involved in this incident stored data such as customer names, contact information, and account numbers.”
The TIO system also stored credit card information, social security numbers, and bank account information.
The evidence indicates the earliest possible date of intrusion goes back to at least 2014.
The letter provides customers with access codes to receive one year of complimentary identity protection that includes credit monitoring and encourages people with online accounts with TIO to reset passwords.
Also, there appears to be no communication from the City of Tallahassee acknowledging the data breach and the possible impact on the personal information of utility customers.
The non-descript envelope containing the letter about the data breach could easily be ignored by recipients. There is no marking to draw attention to the nature of the letter.
In contrast, on December 12th, the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), a utility headquartered in Newark, New Jersey issued a company press release notifying local media and customers about the data breach.
The press release, in part, said:
PayPal notified PSE&G that there was unauthorized access to TIO Networks’ system that stores customer information. TIO Networks processed payments made at automated kiosks in PSE&G’s walk-in customer service centers between 2012 and 2017. TIO Networks also facilitated payments PSE&G customers made at third-party payment centers, such as local convenience stores, that accept utility bill payments.