Photo by Ryan Haidet, WKYC-TV.
AKRON -- The City is extending the number of days attorneys will be available at its community centers for citizens to inquire about the cyber-attack on the City's website.
For the rest of the week, City of Akron attorneys will be at different Akron community centers to talk to residents about what they can do if they are on the list of people whose information was compromised by the cyber-attack that occurred last week.
These attorneys will be able to look up whether citizens are on the list of people whose information was stolen, and they will be able to explain what a person should do to secure their accounts and credit.
The following community centers will have help available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday (May 22) and 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday (May 23 and 24):
- Lawton Street Community Center, 1225 Lawton Street
- Patterson Park Community Center, 800 Patterson Avenue
- Firestone Park Community Center, 1480 Girard Street
- Kenmore Community Center, 880 Kenmore Boulevard
- Ellet Community Center, 2449 Wedgewood Drive
- Reservoir Park Community Center, 1735 Hillside Terrace
A cyber-attack was launched last week against networks across the country, including the City of Akron. The attackers infiltrated the City of Akron's computer network in spite of all of the efforts by the City to meet top national standards of intrusion protection systems, firewalls, and virus protection software.
The City is continuing to work closely with the FBI to determine how the City's site was accessed and to determine the full extent of the information hacked. The City of Akron filed a police incident report, Report Number 13-011564, which is available at www.akronohio.gov.
Citizens can access this report for use with banking institutions, credit agencies, the Ohio Attorney General's office, and to keep on file. Also, the stolen information has been removed from the public website as of Saturday, May 18, 2013.
The City has also requested from all three Credit Bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) that the $5 fee charged by each company for placing a credit freeze on a person's credit be waived and/or reimbursed.
At least one company, Experian, has agreed to waive the fee for Akron victims, and reimburse those victims that have already paid the $5 fee.
Details on how to go about getting the reimbursement are still being worked out.
The City is anticipating even more calls after thousands of letters were sent yesterday to victims of the cyber-attack. For the rest of the week, the City is bringing in extra help to answer the deluge of 311 calls it has encountered, and expects to continue.
If necessary, extra hours and staffing will continue through the weekend. That will be determined as the week progresses. Last weekend, the City added extra staffing and extended its weekend hours at the 311 call center, but more help was brought in on Monday, and even more on Tuesday.
Due to the added staffing, the wait time for a 311 caller has significantly dropped.
"We are treating this cyber-attack as we would any other attack on the City and its residents," said Mayor Don Plusquellic. "Although we already had extra people at the 311 phone lines, we are significantly expanding our staffing in the hopes that everyone can get through easily. We are also providing help at our community centers for those people who want to sit down and talk with someone. At this point, we are doing everything we can to keep our citizens informed, and we are trying to help them prevent misuse of their sensitive information."
The City and the FBI continue to monitor and investigate whether the information is elsewhere.The City has already contacted some individuals by email (those who had valid emails on file) and other individuals by Reverse Alert phone calls (those who had valid phone numbers on file). All affected individuals will receive a letter by mail informing them that their information was compromised.
To find out whether your information was compromised, you should call 311 (330-375-2311 from a mobile phone), call the City's income tax office at 330-375-2290, or visit one of the community centers listed above and talk to an attorney.
If you are on the list of individuals whose information was released, the FBI recommends that at this point, you monitor all your financial accounts very carefully until we have more information.
In the meantime, here are some resources to help you protect your credit:
- The Identity Theft Resource Center, a nonprofit agency in San Diego, offers free victim assistance at 888-400-5530 or online at www.idtheftcenter.org.
- The Ohio Attorney General's Consumer Identity Theft Unit can assist consumers after they've been ID theft victims by helping them straighten out accounts. Also, the office can provide a self-help assistance guide. Call 800-282-0515 or go online to www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov. (Police Report Number 13-011564)
- Your Homeowner's Insurance may include ID theft coverage. If not, you may be able to add that coverage.
- You can also contact one of the Credit Report services and put a freeze on your credit.
- Equifax: 800-685-1111 (Option 3), Equifax Security Freeze, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348 or www.equifax.com
- Experian: 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742), Experian Security Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen TX 75013 or www.experian.com
- TransUnion: 888-909-8872, TransUnion, Fraud Victim Assistance Department, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834 or www.transunion.com