Boston Sunday Globe

Eversource and Unitil also hit by security breaches


Electric utilities Eversource and Unitil are warning customers that their personal data may have been compromise­d, due to a security breach. It’s the latest in a series of warnings from organizati­ons worldwide that have been victimized by a flaw in a data transfer program made by Burlington-based Progress Software. Last week another local utility, National Grid, said that it too had been breached. All three companies are clients of CLEAResult, a third-party vendor that helps them operate statewide energy efficiency programs in Massachuse­tts. CLEAResult uses a data transfer program from Progress Software to exchange informatio­n with its clients. In May, Progress warned that it had discovered a serious security flaw in its software, which was being used by cyber criminals to steal personal data. Eversource said the stolen data includes names, addresses, contact informatio­n, and utility account and usage informatio­n, but not more sensitive data like Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or bank account numbers. The utility is urging customers to monitor their accounts for unusual activity. Unitil, a New Hampshireb­ased company that provides electricit­y to a few Massachuse­tts towns such as Fitchburg and Lunenburg, also uses the CLEAResult service. A company spokesman said that data belonging to about 10 of its subscriber­s had been stolen, but he did not know whether these were residentia­l or commercial subscriber­s. The spokesman said that CLEAResult is continuing its investigat­ion to determine the full extent of the breach. According to the German market research company KonBriefin­g Research, over 1,000 organizati­ons worldwide have been affected by the Progress Software breach, with the overwhelmi­ng majority — more than 800 — based in the United States. About 30 of these are Massachuse­tts-based, according to KonBriefin­g, including a number of state government agencies, universiti­es, and financial institutio­ns. These include the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, insurance company MassMutual, market research firm Forrester Research, the Microsoft-owned artificial intelligen­ce company Nuance Communicat­ions, Cambridge Trust, and retail company TJX. — HIAWATHA BRAY

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States