The Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) watched this week as its public website was hacked and citizen data was stolen.
While no court records were altered during the breach officials have confirmed the theft of at least 94 social security numbers. The agency also says the potential exists that 160,000 social security numbers and more than 1 million driver license numbers may have been accessed and downloaded.
According to the agency’s statement people who meet the following criteria might be affected:
Social security numbers:
• If you were booked into a city or county jail within the state of Washington between September 2011 through December 2012, you may have had your name and social security number accessed.
Driver license numbers:
• If you received a DUI citation in Washington State between 1989 through 2011;
• If you had a traffic case in Washington State filed or resolved in a district or municipal court between 2011 through 2012;
• If you had a superior court criminal case in Washington State that was filed against you or resolved between 2011 through 2012, you may have had your name and driver license number accessed.
Anyone worried about their private information can learn more about the breach by visiting: www.courts.wa.gov/databreach. The AOC is also answering questions from 8 am to 8 pm Monday through Saturday at 1-800-448-5584.
Following the preach public officials note that nobody from their offices will be calling citizens to ask for further personal information. Massive data breaches are often following by phishing and other scams meant to gather further information from citizens.
The AOC is notifying anyone whose accounts they know have been breached.
Nathaniel Couper-Noles, senior security consultant at Neohapsis, offers the following advice to organizations that suffer these type of breaches:
“Preparing for incidents is key to preventing small breaches from becoming big ones. The first step to protecting your assets is knowing what and where they are. You’ll be playing catch-up if you wait for a security incident to understand and document your IT systems, and time is precious in incident response scenarios.”
The AOC appears to be following Couper-Noles’ advice by proactively reaching out to customers while working to minimize damages through thorough investigation.
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