San Francisco benefits program breach exposes PII on 74,000

A breach of the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System (SFERS) may have exposed the information of 74,000 members, including names, addresses, birth dates, banking and IRS data as well as details on beneficiaries.

An unauthorized third party on February 24 accessed a database that a SFERS vendor, 10up Inc., was using in a test environment, according to a breach notification posted by the benefits program. 10up discovered the intrusion nearly a month later, on March 21.

“The vendor promptly shut down the server and began an investigation,” the notification said. “The vendor found no evidence that the information of SFERS members was removed from its server, but at this time, it cannot confirm that the information was not viewed or copied by an unauthorized party.”

10up alerted SFERS to the breach on March 26, 2020.

“The SFERS breach highlights one of the most important aspects of securing your environment - ensuring that the vendors you're working with are being good custodians of the data they have access to,” said Chris Rothe, co-founder and chief product officer at Red Canary. “Scrutinizing vendor security practices and monitoring any access they have to sensitive data is critical to ensuring you don't end up in the news.”

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