Photo Credit: Kenneth C. Zirkel |This work is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

 After an exhaustive investigation following the discovery of a suspicious email on one of the City’s internal networks, current and former municipal employees are being notified of a suspected security incident that may have left certain personal information compromised.

Due to the City’s network architecture, no external customer data is believed to have been impacted by the incident, and all online City functions are operating normally.

All potentially impacted parties – including family members – will be notified via written correspondence beginning this week.

This particular incident was discovered on June 9th following a report of unusual network activity. The City immediately initiated its response plan, powered down or isolated certain devices and systems, and launched an investigation. In addition to working with its own IT staff, the City notified state and federal law enforcement and worked to support its investigation.

Through the investigation, the City learned that there was unauthorized activity in its network beginning June 8, 2022 through June 9, 2022. During that time, an unauthorized party obtained files stored on the City’s file servers.

The City began a careful review of the files involved and determined, on July 12, 2022, that the files contained information used for human resources and benefits purposes for certain current and former employees and their spouses and/or dependents, including names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, financial account numbers used for direct deposit, and information related to group health insurance.

On July 22, 2022, the City will begin mailing letters to individuals whose information was identified in the files and arranged for them to receive a complimentary membership to identity monitoring services.

The City is also launching a dedicated, toll-free call center to answer questions that individuals may have about the incident. The call center will be open to answer questions beginning Friday, July 22nd  from 9 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday at 1 855-516-3873. 

Impacted individuals are also being advised to review statements they receive from their health insurers and if they see charges for services not received, they should contact their insurer immediately.

The City takes this matter very seriously and regrets any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.