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Washington State Court System Hacked; About 160,000 Social Security Numbers Exposed
Officials of Washington State said on Thursday that the Washington State Court System website has been hacked and about a million driver’s license numbers and about 1, 60,000 Social Security numbers may have been accessed.
Apparently, the hackers found obtaining data of people previously booked in county jails for different offenses was safer for the purpose of impersonation, because people previously booked may find it difficult to defend themselves at the first instance against new criminal charges.
Usually, data accessed by hackers in this manner is used to commit financial fraud.
Callie T. Dietz, the state’s court administrator said in a statement, “We regret that this breach has occurred and we have taken immediate action to enhance the security of these sites.”
Apparently, the breach of data was discovered way back in February, but officials believed confidential information was safe, even though records showed hacking and a large amount of data downloaded. Much later officials confirmed that at least 94 Social Security numbers had definitely been obtained by the hackers while the data of all persons booked into a city or county jail between September 2011 and December 2012 could be in the hands of the hackers.
The statement also mentioned that driver’s license numbers of people on a DUI citation between 1989 and 2011, or who had a traffic case filed in a district or municipal court between 2011 and 2012 may also be at risk. To these, driver’s license numbers of people charged in the state’s superior court criminal system between 2011 and 2012 has to be added.
However, the officials were confident that the data accessed did not contain any financial information as the websites did not store any credit card numbers.