Breaking news: Oregon Employment Department Detects Major Server Data Breach. Bad news fell like a missile last Monday from the Oregon Employment Department. This government office reported that its big data servers recently suffered a security breach at the hands of hackers. According to official reports issued this past October 13th from Department representatives, a recent server hacking may have violated the private data of some 851,300 individuals registered with this agency. The size and source of the security breach was not initially known. An anonymous tip off first informed the Employment Department of the breach. They received the tip off via email on October 6th and were able to fully restore the servers to a secure state the following day.
The attack specifically targeted the WorkSource Oregon Management Information System which Oregon locals use for assistance in finding and securing employment. The system stores individuals’ names, addresses, and Social Security numbers among other required personal security information in order to fill out a job application.
As of the writing of this article, the Employment Department was still working with the State Police to figure out how the system was breached and which party/parties were responsible for the data breach from hackers. The employment department shut down all systems immediately after the incident occurred and then worked to secure the personal information stored within it. Some drew attention to the fact that this is not the first case in which hackers targeted an Oregon state agency. A similar attack took place against the Oregon Secretary of State this February. But, for the time being, investigators say they don’t have any reason to believe that the two incidents hold any connection between one another.
However, in the wake of the attack, many observers pointed to the fact that this attack only confirms how vulnerable the IT division is for the Employment Department of Oregon. Despite of the millions of dollars invested into software projects in the post recession era, the Oregon Employment Department remains vulnerable to simple attacks by online criminals. The actions of these hackers behind the data breach showcase the very dysfunctions pointed out through a recent state review of the agency.
Registered with the Oregon Employment Department? This is what you can do:
First off, try not to overly panic if this occurred. Even if you’re particularly sensitive about the idea of your private data falling into the wrong hands, panicking won’t solve the problem. According to statements by the Employment Department, zero evidence indicates that the information was actually used for identity theft or other malignant purposes (or could be used for identity theft in the future). Second, you must figure out if you were among the 850k people who were affected by the security breach. To do this, simply call 877-643-4322. Following the phone interview, you will receive an official agency email informing you whether or not your data was compromised. In order to make amends for the security violation, the agency offers complementary credit monitoring services completely free of charge to all those affected. An estimated 300 people already contacted the aforementioned number to find out whether their information was affected by the security breach. Some reported the agency not disclosing any information to them and complained that the agency would choose to wait until Friday to reach out to the people potentially involved.
It might still be too soon to tell how this security violation will affect the job market in the local area. However, what’s safe to assume is that numerous inconsistencies and a lack of professionalism recently plagued the Oregon Employment Department. A top ranking manager recently resigned after her relationship with the agency’s second in command was made available to the public via an email sent out to all employees.
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