Accountants hacked, data for 900 exposed

Hackers stole data from a local accounting firm in a breach that may have impacted as many as 900 customers, authorities said.

Lyons and Lyons, a certified public accountant firm based in Ridgefield and Fairfield, is currently working with the U.S. Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service and the IRS Criminal Investigation Unit on an ongoing “cyber breach” criminal investigation, and an arrest may be near.

David Lyons, a partner at Lyons and Lyons, confirmed the breach occurred at his company’s office, but offered few specifics.

“We did have a security incident that may have caused exposure of some of personal information,” Lyons said.

He said he could not comment how many clients’ information had been compromised, what information exactly had been stolen, or when the breach took place, because the investigation is ongoing.

However, the Jaclyn Falkowski, a spokesperson for the Office of the Attorney General wrote to Hersam Acorn Newspapers that 900 people may have been impacted.

“It is our understanding that about 900 Connecticut residents were notified that their information may have been compromised in this breach and that federal law enforcement authorities are also involved,” she said.

Falkowski added that companies that keep personal information, as defined by statute, are required to notify her agency of any security breaches, which Lyons and Lyons did.

“While we are still assessing the matter, our primary concern is for the security of those consumers affected, and we will work to ensure that the needs of those individuals are met and that the company takes adequate measures to prevent exposure of personal information in the future,” she wrote.

Lyons did not confirm whether or not tax return information was falsified or stolen, or whether the perpetrators got complete files.

However, Monroe Police said in April that a Guinea Road man reported that he was notified by the IRS that his 2011 tax forms had been stolen from the firm’s computer system and used to file a phony report using his information.

Lyons said the Secret Service has identified a suspect and they expect to make an arrest soon.

He added that the Secret Service has told him that the suspect has no affiliation with Lyons and Lyons.

“The suspect is not a current or former employee and is not a current or former client, that has been confirmed to us by the Secret Service,” Lyons said. “I have no idea who the individual is at the time, but the suspect has no connection to the firm.”

Calls to the Secret Service and IRS Criminal Investigation unit were not returned.

Lyons said his office is installing a new credit monitoring system to ensure a breach such as this doesn’t happen again.

“We are working with all the agencies to bring this to a conclusion as soon as possible,” said Lyons. “We are obviously concerned about the security of our clients information and we are taking this very seriously.”

Additionally, he said, “we have arranged for clients to get identity theft protection.”

Falkowski said more details of the investigation would be made public as soon as it concludes.

John Kovach 5/15/13 “It’s a matter of time, the investigation is still open,” she said about disclosing more information on the breach.

The Fairfield office of Lyons and Lyons is located at 75 Hillside Road. The Ridgefield office is located at 898 Ethan Allen Highway.

Falkowski described how people can get help. “Affected consumers who have concerns about this matter are encouraged to contact ID Experts, the credit monitoring firm Lyons and Lyons has retained in this matter, at 1-888-760-4871. Consumers can also call our Consumer Protection unit at 860-808-5400 or email [email protected]

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