November 3, 2023 – Texas Wesleyan University (“TXWES”) is writing to inform you of a recent data security incident that may have resulted in an unauthorized access to some individuals’ sensitive personal information. This notice is intended to provide details about the incident, steps we are taking in response, and resources available to help protect against the potential misuse of sensitive personal information.
What Happened? On October 6, 2023, TXWES experienced a network disruption that impacted the functionality and access of certain systems. Upon discovery of this incident, TXWES immediately disconnected all access to the network and promptly engaged a specialized third-party cybersecurity firm and IT personnel to assist with securing the environment, as well as, to conduct a comprehensive forensic investigation to determine the nature and scope of the incident. While the forensic investigation remains ongoing, TXWES found evidence to suggest some TXWES files were accessed by an unauthorized actor. Based on these findings, TXWES began reviewing the affected systems to identify the specific individuals and the types of information that may have been compromised. While this process remains ongoing, TXWES will notify affected individuals by mail as the information becomes available.
On November 8, 2023, TXWES discovered that some information stored on its servers was published online by the unauthorized actor as part of the underlying cyber incident. Individuals will be notified if their information was affected by this or any future release of information.
What Information Was Involved? Based on the investigation, the following information related to potentially impacted individuals may have been subject to unauthorized access: name; Social Security Number; passport information; financial account information; and/or limited medical information.
Please note that not all individuals had information relating to their Social Security Number, passport information, financial account information, and limited medical information potentially impacted. Affected individuals will be notified by mail of information that was impacted.
What We Are Doing? Data privacy and security is among TXWES’s highest priorities, and we are committed to doing everything we can to protect the privacy and security of the personal information in our care. Upon discovery of the Incident, TXWES moved quickly to investigate and respond to the Incident and assessed the security of its systems. Specifically, TXWES engaged a specialized cybersecurity firm and IT personnel to conduct a forensic investigation to determine the nature and scope of the Incident. Additionally, TXWES took the following steps, including, but not limited to: disconnecting all access to the network; implementing an organization-wide credential reset of all community users; increasing the minimum password length to 14 characters; hardening firewall rules to strict explicit assignments for all inbound and outbound internet traffic; adding WAF (“Web Application Firewall”) and secure DNS/DDOS protection; working toward ensuring multi- factor authentication for all external access to web services, in addition to the multi-factor authentication already in place for TXWES; and adding additional security tools, including SentinelOne and Huntress through TXWES’s incident response firm.
In light of the incident, we are also providing affected individuals with complimentary credit monitoring and identity theft restoration services through TransUnion. Affected individuals will be notified by mail with enrollment information.
What You Can Do: We encourage you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review your account statements, and to monitor your credit reports for suspicious or unauthorized activity. Additionally, security experts suggest that you contact your financial institution and all major credit bureaus to inform them of such a breach and then take whatever steps are recommended to protect your interests, including the possible placement of a fraud alert on your credit file. Please review the enclosed Steps You Can Take to Help Protect Your Information, to learn more about how to protect against the possibility of information misuse.
Other Important Information: We recognize that you may have question not addressed in this notice. If you have any questions or concerns, please call 1-833-603-3849 (toll free) Monday through Friday, during the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
TXWES sincerely regrets any concern or inconvenience this matter may cause, and remains dedicated to ensuring the privacy and security of all information in our control.
You may obtain a copy of your credit report, free of charge, whether or not you suspect any unauthorized activity on your account. You may obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies. To order your free credit report, please visit www.annualcreditreport.com, or call toll-free at 1-877-322-8228. You can also order your annual free credit report by mailing a completed Annual Credit Report Request Form (available at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports) to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA, 30348-5281.
You can place fraud alerts with the three credit bureaus by phone or online. A fraud alert tells creditors to follow certain procedures, including contacting you, before they open any new accounts or change your existing accounts. For that reason, placing a fraud alert can protect you, but also may delay you when you seek to obtain credit. As of September 21, 2018, initial fraud alerts last for one year. Victims of identity theft can also get an extended fraud alert for seven years.
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19016 1-800-680-7289
P.O. Box 105069 Atlanta, GA 30348
You should always remain vigilant for incidents of fraud and identity theft by reviewing credit card account statements and by monitoring your credit report for suspicious or unusual activity.
You have the right to place a security freeze on your credit report. A security freeze is intended to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. To place a security freeze on your credit report, you need to make a request to each consumer reporting agency. You may make that request by certified mail, overnight mail, regular stamped mail, or by following the instructions found at the websites listed below. The following information must be included when requesting a security freeze (note that if you are requesting a credit report for your spouse or a minor under the age of 16, this information must be provided for him/her as well): (1) full name, with middle initial and any suffixes; (2) Social Security number; (3) date of birth; (4) current address and any previous addresses for the past five years; and (5) any applicable incident report or complaint with a law enforcement agency or the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The request must also include a copy of a government-issued identification card and a copy of a recent utility bill or bank or insurance statement. It is essential that each copy be legible, display your name and current mailing address, and the date of issue. As of September 21, 2018, it is free to place, lift, or remove a security freeze. You may also place a security freeze for children under the age of 16. You may obtain a free security freeze by contacting any one or more of the following national consumer reporting agencies:
P.O. Box 9554 Allen, TX 75013 1-888-397-3742 www.experian.com/freeze/center.html
P.O. Box 160 Woodlyn, PA 19094 1-888-909-8872 www.transunion.com/credit-freeze
P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, GA 30348-5788
You have the right to file or obtain a police report if you experience identity fraud. Please note that in order to file a crime report or incident report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide proof that you have been a victim. A police report is often required to dispute fraudulent items. You can generally report suspected incidents of identity theft to local law enforcement or to the Attorney General.
You can further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, security freezes, and the steps you can take to protect yourself, by contacting the consumer reporting agencies, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General. The Federal Trade Commission can be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580, www.identitytheft.gov, 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338), TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. You can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement.
For residents of Iowa: State law advises you to report any suspected identity theft to law enforcement or to the Attorney General.
For residents of Massachusetts: It is required by state law that you are informed of your right to obtain a police report filed in regard to this incident. If you are the victim of identity theft, you also have the right to file a police report and obtain a copy of it.
For residents of New Mexico: State law advises you to review personal account statements and credit reports, as applicable, to detect errors resulting from the security breach. You have rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, such as the right to be told if information in your credit file has been used against you, the right to know what is in your credit file, the right to ask for your credit score, and the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. Further, pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information; consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information; access to your file is limited; you must give your consent for credit reports to be provided to employers; you may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report; and you may seek damages from violators. You may have additional rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act not summarized here. Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have specific additional rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. We encourage you to review your rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act at www.consumerfinance.gov/f/201504_cfpb_summary_your-rights-under-fcra.pdf or by writing Consumer Response Center, Room 130-A, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.
For residents of Oregon: State law advises you to report any suspected identity theft to law enforcement, including the Attorney General, and the Federal Trade Commission.
For residents of Rhode Island: It is required by state law that you are informed of your right to file or obtain a police report in regard to this incident.
For residents of Arizona, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island: You can obtain information from the Offices of the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission about fraud alerts, security freezes, and steps you can take toward preventing identity theft.
Federal Trade Commission - Consumer Response Center: 600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20580; 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338); www.identitytheft.gov
Arizona Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection & Advocacy Section, 2005 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004 1-602-542-5025
Colorado Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection 1300 Broadway, 9th Floor, Denver, CO 80203 1-720-508-6000 www.coag.gov
District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General – Office of Consumer Protection: 400 6th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001; 202-727-3400; www.oag.dc.gov
Illinois office of the Attorney General - 100 West Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601; 1-866-999-5630; www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov
Maryland Office of the Attorney General - Consumer Protection Division: 200 St. Paul Place, 16th floor, Baltimore, MD 21202; 1-888-743-0023; www.oag.state.md.us
New York Office of Attorney General - Consumer Frauds & Protection: The Capitol, Albany, NY 12224; 1-800-771-7755; https://ag.ny.gov/consumer-frauds/identity-theft
North Carolina Office of the Attorney General - Consumer Protection Division: 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699; 1-877-566-7226; www.ncdoj.com
Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General - Consumer Protection: 150 South Main St., Providence RI 02903; 1-401-274-4400; www.riag.ri.gov