Colonial Properties Acknowledges Data Breach

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Alabama's Colonial Properties Trust, which recently merged with Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc., has begun notifying an undisclosed number of customers that their names and Social Security numbers may have been accessed when Colonial's network was infected with malware.

The company first detected malware on its computer network on April 23, 2013, hired third-party forensic experts to investigate, and eradicated the malware on April 26, 2013. However, on May 1, 2013, Colonial found that the malware had re-infected the network. The company again hired third-party experts to assist, and eradicated the malware on May 3, 2013.

While investigating the attack, the company determined that a spreadsheet containing an undisclosed number of names and Social Security numbers may have been accessed.

Colonial is offering all those affected a free one-year membership in Experian's ProtectMyID Alert service. "We apologize for any inconvenience or concern that this may have caused you," Colonial chief administrative officer John Rigrish wrote in the notification letter [PDF]. "The safety and security of your personal information remains a top priority of Colonial."