Today, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) announced that is has discovered and corrected access vulnerabilities in the My AmeriCorps portal website that may have created the potential for others to view personal information of program applicants and participants. The vulnerabilities, which date back to 2006, would not have caused personal information to be exposed in the normal operation of the portal.
To ensure the highest degree of care and caution, CNCS is notifying all AmeriCorps applicants and participants with records in the portal system and providing them a full range of support services, including membership in a credit monitoring and identity theft insurance program. Following is the letter of notification.
I am writing to inform you that the Corporation for National and Community Service has discovered and corrected access vulnerabilities in the My AmeriCorps portal website that may have created the potential for others to view personal information of program applicants and participants. We value the privacy of your personal information and are implementing measures to ensure this does not happen again.
The vulnerabilities would not have caused your personal information to be exposed in the normal operation of the portal. Rather, someone would have had to manipulate the web URL, or know your unique log-in name and use a specific technique to bypass the required password. If this occurred, personal information that you entered into the system potentially could have been seen. For example, your name, address, and last four digits of your social security number, or full social security number if you received a W2 or 1099, may have been viewed. Please log into your My AmeriCorps portal account if you want to review the information you previously provided.
To ensure the highest degree of care and caution, we are offering you the opportunity to enroll in a one-year membership in a credit monitoring and identity theft insurance program. Enrolling in the program will not hurt your credit score and is provided to you at no cost. To enroll, please visit the website listed below or call (866) 578-5413. You can also call this number if you have questions or need additional information. The number will be staffed Monday – Friday from 9am to 9pm Eastern and Saturday – Sunday from 11am to 8pm Eastern.
Enrollment Website: http://partner.consumerinfo.com/cncs
You Must Enroll By: January 8, 2011
Membership in the program includes the following services:
- Daily monitoring and alerts of any key changes to your credit reports – so you know when there is any activity that you should be made aware of such as notification on new inquiries, newly opened accounts, delinquencies, public records or address changes;
- Toll-free access to a dedicated team of fraud resolution representatives who will help you investigate each incident; contact credit grantors to dispute charges, close accounts if need be, and compile documents; and contact all relevant government agencies; and
- $25,000 in identity theft insurance coverage for certain identity theft expenses. Coverage is limited to $10,000 for New York state residents and is not available in U.S. overseas Commonwealth or Territories (i.e. Puerto Rico).
We apologize for this incident and any inconvenience that it may cause you. We are working diligently to strengthen and ensure the security of our computer systems. Please know that we value the trust you have placed in us and your commitment to national service.
Again, if you have any questions or would like to enroll by phone, please call (866) 578-5413.
Robert Velasco, II
Chief Operating Officer
Corporation for National and Community Service
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did I receive this letter?
You received the letter because you applied for or participated in an AmeriCorps program, including State and National, VISTA, or NCCC, and have records in our system.
How will I know if my information has been used fraudulently? What should I do to protect myself?
Participating in a credit monitoring program can help you determine if your information has been misused and protect you in the future. We will provide you with a one-year membership in a credit monitoring program at no cost to you. You can enroll in this program by calling (866) 578-5413.
How do I know if my W2 or 1099 was exposed and what is the level of risk if it was?
If your living allowance was not paid by the Corporation and you did not receive a W2 or 1099 from us, it was not part of the personal file that potentially could have been viewed. You can check what information is part of your personal file by logging in to the My AmeriCorps portal. The W2 and 1099 include your social security number and may contain other personal information. If you are concerned, please call (866) 578-5413 to enroll in the free credit monitoring program.
What steps is the Corporation for National and Community Service taking to make sure this doesn't happen again?
We are working diligently to strengthen and ensure the security of our computer system. A systems security engineer will oversee ongoing monitoring and updating of our IT systems, including thorough testing to guard against vulnerabilities.
How can I get more information?
You can get more information by calling (866) 578-5413 or by viewing a more extensive list of frequently asked questions on the CNCS website at http://www.nationalservice.gov.