Hackers breach Oregon state employment database

PORTLAND — The troubled Oregon Employment Department says hackers breached a database and could have seen Social Security numbers, addresses and birth dates for more than 851,000 job seekers.

The agency has said there's no evidence that anyone's identity has been stolen, but those who have used the department's website are urged to change their password, The Oregonian reports.

People can learn whether their data was compromised by calling the department's hotline, 877-643-4322. The agency has offered credit-monitoring services for people who are affected.

Tech experts verified the breach after receiving an anonymous tip on Oct. 6. Security was restored the next day, but the breach was not publicly disclosed until late in the week. On Monday, the department released the number of people whose information may be at risk.

The target was the WorkSource Oregon system that Oregonians use as they look for jobs at state unemployment offices. It stores personal information commonly used on job applications, such as names, addresses and Social Security numbers, said spokesman Matt Shelby of the Department of Administrative Services.

Oregon State Police are helping the investigation.

This is not the first time a state agency has been hit. Hackers targeted the Oregon secretary of state's office in February. Shelby said investigators do not believe the two breaches are related.

The hit exposed vulnerabilities within the department's information technology division, which spent millions on computer software projects that failed in the aftermath of the recession. A state review found an agency so dysfunctional that it couldn't properly do its job.


Information from: KPDQ-AM, http://www.kpdq.com/


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