Black Hawk College has been alerted to a potential cybersecurity incident by Summit Reinsurance Services, Inc. (“Summit”), the reinsurance carrier utilized by the College’s former third-party health insurance administrator (TPA), Health Alliance. Based on information provided by Summit, it appears that this incident could affect personal information belonging to approximately 1,000 current and former employees of Black Hawk College.
On November 4, 2016, Summit Reinsurance Services, Inc., informed Black Hawk College that it had discovered that ransomware had infected Summit’s server containing certain information, including information that had been provided to Summit by Health Alliance. This discovery was made August 8, 2016, and Summit immediately launched an investigation with the assistance of a third-party forensic investigator.
The information contained on the affected server included individual names, Social Security numbers, health insurance information, and/or claim-focused medical records of current and former employees and possibly their dependents.
While the investigation is ongoing, it appears that the unauthorized access to Summit’s server first occurred on March 12, 2016. To date, Summit has no evidence that any personal information has been used inappropriately. However, the investigation continues and appropriate steps are being taken to notify individuals.
“We are pleased that Summit Reinsurance Services is moving aggressively and taking the appropriate steps to notify the affected individuals and to minimize the impact this incident may have on them,” said Dr. Bettie Truitt, president of Black Hawk College. Truitt also noted the incident did not involve Black Hawk College computer systems or networks.
Summit is mailing official advisory letters to those whose information appeared on the server. This letter will include safety recommendations that individuals may take such as monitoring credit reports and account statements. Summit will also provide free access to one year of credit monitoring and a call center for individuals needing further assistance. If you have questions, please call the dedicated assistance line toll-free at 877-215-9747, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST and provide Reference Number 2996113016 when prompted. The call center will be closed on U. S. observed holidays.
Individuals are encouraged to review account statements, monitor credit reports and explanation of benefits forms for any suspicious activity. Federal law allows individuals to obtain one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. To order a free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free, 877-322-8228. Additionally, individuals may want to consider placing fraud alerts or credit freezes on credit files to help protect against identity theft and fraud.