1.4 Million Illinois Job Seekers’ Data May be Compromised

After the hack of an Illinois State Department’s employment security agency vendor, the personal data of nearly 1.4 million job seekers in Illinois could be at risk, according to the governor’s office.

Illinois governor Bruce Rauner’s administration has revealed that the hacker or hacker group behind the breach may have accessed the names, birthdates and social security numbers of job seekers from the hacked vendor’s database. The Illinois Department of Employment Security has also notified the state’s General Assembly about the sweeping hack, the governor’s office revealed.

Bob Gough, spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Employment Security stated:

We know it’s in the 1.2 to 1.4 million neighborhood – of anyone who has received unemployment benefits. The information is in our system, and we know it’s been exposed. But we also know that the door has been shut, and we are currently contacting and preparing notices for any of those job seekers who are potentially affected.

The agency’s vendor, America’s Job Link  – Technical Support, learned about the hack earlier this month on March 14. The vendor, a company based in Topeka, Kansas, has notified the FBI, according to ABC News.

FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton has confirmed that the vendor reached out to federal authorities after learning of the breach. Her office, in Kansas City, Missouri, is collaborating by “working with them on this matter”, Patton stated. However, the spokeswoman declined to elaborate further on details of the investigation.

A state technical team adept in cybersecurity is reportedly working with the agency and vendor. Meanwhile, Illinois officials have stated that the hack did not occur due to any outdated or inadequate software used by the state.

Meanwhile, authorities have confirmed that the data breach may have impacted individuals from as many as 10 states, including Illinois. The other states possibly affected are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Oklahoma, and Vermont.

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