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PSC Investigates Consumer Data Breach at NYSEG, RG&E

By WKTV News

ALBANY, N.Y. - The New York State Public Service Commission has announced that it will conduct a full and complete investigation into the unauthorized access to customer data announced Monday by New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E), subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA.

"Public utilities are custodians of a great deal of personal customer information," said Commission Chairman Garry Brown. "As a result of this apparent data security breach, I have asked staff of the Department of Public Service to immediately initiate an investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding this event."

The companies said that there is no evidence that any customer data has actually been misused, or that there was any malicious intent. NYSEG and RG&E have consulted with law enforcement and engaged computer forensics experts. The companies have begun sending precautionary notifications to customers advising them of unauthorized access to customer data. The customer records contain Social Security numbers, dates of birth and, in some cases, financial institution account numbers.

The Department of Public Service investigation will focus on the adequacy of the company's plan to identify, communicate with and assist any affected utility customers. In addition, this investigation will seek a complete understanding of the root causes for this security breach, and the measures in place to protect against such a breach.

The Department will coordinate its efforts with any taken by the Attorney General or the Department of State's Division of Consumer Protection and any other Federal or State agencies that may be addressing this matter.

The companies have set up a help line to assist NYSEG and RG&E customers. The help line numbers are 1.877.736.4495 (toll-free) and 1.479.573.7373 (for international callers). The help line will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Consumers could also call the Commission's consumer assistance help line at 1.800.342.3377 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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