FAQs

Q: What happened?
A: On August 8, 2013, the University discovered that some SLU employees provided their account information in response to a sophisticated phishing email scam they received on July 25, 2013.

After learning of the incident, the University immediately launched a full-scale investigation. Employees who were targeted by the email scam were notified, and their accounts were secured. While about 10 employees had direct deposit information changed, no unauthorized financial transactions occurred.

It appears that the main target of this scam was the direct deposit information of these employees. However, as the scope of the investigation expanded, the University learned that the incident also resulted in unauthorized access to about 20 SLU email accounts that contained personal health information for approximately 3,000 individuals. This was mostly limited to diagnosis, procedure and medical chart information. The investigation also found that the email accounts contained the names and Social Security numbers of about 200 people. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that the unknown party accessed any of the personal information in the emails.

Q: What is SLU doing to address this situation?
A: The University is notifying all individuals whose information was in the email accounts affected by the incident. SLU has also notified law enforcement officials and has engaged the services a global leader in risk mitigation and response.

While there is no evidence to suggest that the unknown party accessed any of the information in the emails, out of an abundance of caution, SLU is providing individuals with information affected by the incident with one year of free continuous credit monitoring and identity theft protection and restoration. Instructions for signing up for these free services are enclosed in the notification letters.

Q: How do I know if I was affected?
A: If your information was affected by the incident, you will receive a notification letter. If you do not receive a notification letter by October 25, 2013, please call our hotline at 1-877-309-9839. We care deeply about protecting your privacy, and we want to address any concerns you may have.

Q: Why did I receive a letter from SLU if I have no connection to the University?
A: Some of the individuals whose information was included in the emails were patients treated or reviewed by a SLU physician at facilities owned by the Tenet Healthcare Corporation or SSM Health Care. The University is working with these health care partners in its response efforts.

Q: What is the University doing to make sure this doesn't happen again?
A: Privacy is a top priority for Saint Louis University. To help prevent a similar incident from happening in the future, the University is conducting a comprehensive review of its information security practices and procedures, as well as reminding all employees about online security awareness.

Q: What is phishing? 
A: Phishing is an email scam that seeks to acquire information by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. These email scams have become increasingly convincing and sophisticated in recent years. To learn more about avoiding phishing scams, visit the Information Technology Services website.

Additional Information

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