A security breach involving the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) resulted in more than $1.4 million being illegally withdrawn from nearly two dozen individuals’ online accounts, the state treasurer says.
Treasurer Denise L. Nappier said Wednesday that TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc. (TFI), which manages the CHET Direct program, notified her office of the security breach in which thieves compromised 21 CHET accountholders’ personal data via an online portal, to open accounts in their names and siphon about $1,416,635 from the victims’ accounts.
Nappier said a state and federal investigation is underway into the breach. A spokesman said the breach occurred between last Oct. and this month, but insisted it was the first in CHET’s more than 20-year history.
Victims will have their CHET account sums fully restored by TFI, she said, plus they will receive two years’ of free identity-theft protection and restoration services, and $1 million each of ID-theft insurance coverage.