In just the latest installment of a state or federal agency having its records hacked, the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts recently disclosed that months earlier its website was hacked and that as many as 160,000 Social Security numbers and a million driver’s license numbers may have been stolen. Although the hacking occurred in the Fall of 2012 and the Winter of 2013, the breach of data security was only confirmed by state officials in April. The breach was traced, as it often is, to a software flaw. In this case the flaw was with and Adobe software system called ColdFusion. Adobe has created a security patch to resolve the problem, but for the victims of the hacking, this is of little consolation.
If you have had any dealings with the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts, you should contact them to see if your information may have been among the information stolen. If so, you should put a credit freeze on your credit report to stop access to your credit report without your expressed direction. You can find information about how to put on a credit freeze in the list of scam topics on Scamicide as well as in the archives of Scamicide. You should also monitor all your financial accounts closely for early indications of identity theft. You can get additional information as to how to protect yourself from identity theft in my book “50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age” which can be ordered from Amazon at a great price by clicking on the picture of the book on the right hand side of the front page of this blog.