Advertisement
  1. Business

Data breach exposes 469 Social Security numbers, thousands of concealed weapons holders

Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam on Monday that nearly 500 people may have had their Social Security numbers obtained in a data breach in his office.
[Times file photo]

Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam on Monday that nearly 500 people may have had their Social Security numbers obtained in a data breach in his office.
[Times file photo]

Published May 23, 2017

Social Security numbers for up to 469 people and information about thousands of concealed weapons holders were exposed in a data breach at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The breach, which the agency believes happened about two weeks ago, occurred in an online payments system, spokesperson Jenn Meale said Monday.

"We were able to identify it quickly and shut the system down," Meale said in an interview. FDACS discovered the breach within 24 hours of it occurring.

Additionally, the attacker may have obtained 16,190 names of people with concealed weapons licenses, some of which had the accompanying license number. Meale noted that no financial information was compromised.

The information came from an online payment system where users could input their Federal Employer Identification Number. Before 2009, users had the option to enter either their Social Security number or their FEIN. Some continued to enter their Social Security number after 2009, which were then affected by the breach. The count may be slightly lower than 469 Social Security numbers, however, as some may have been FEINs.

In a release, the Meale said the agency believes the attack came from overseas, but would not elaborate nor say how the attacker may have gained access to the system.

"The department takes cybersecurity seriously and acted quickly to mitigate the effects of this breach. The privacy of the department's customers is a top priority and will remain so," the release said.

Those affected by the breach were notified, and the 469 people whose Social Security numbers may have been compromised were offered credit monitoring and fraud alert for one year. Anyone who may have been affected can call (800) 350-1119 for further information.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

  1. A "for sale" sign beckons Friday along Sixth Avenue N in the Kenwood area of St. Petersburg.
  2. Florida is better positioned than before the Great Recession, economist says.
  3. A rendering of the new Ulta created by Hennon Group Architects and included in the permits for the building filed with the City of Tampa.
  4. A rendering of the downtown Sarasota building that holds the office of Retirement Wealth Specialists.
  5. The Oaks Estate, a mansion owned by Lazydays RV co-founder Donald Wallace and his wife Erika. The property is a French-Normandy country-style gated manor build on Lake Thonotosassa listed on the market with an asking price of $17.5 million. It includes a main house, 2-story guest house, garage for up to 20 cars, workshop, pool house, gatehouse, horse barn with grazing pasture, indoor and outdoor pools, 2-story boat house, go-cart track, bowling alley and jogging trail pictured on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 in Thonotosassa.
  6. It's not a bad time to be looking for a job. [Scott Keeler, Times]
  7. A burgeoning private insurance market looks to relieve pressure from the National Flood Insurance Program. Pictured is water from heavy rain in August 2019 on Snell Isle Boulevard NE. [Times (2019)]
  8. A pair of wood storks, left, and a large group of white ibis rest and feed in a wetland area off Loop Road in the Big Cypress National Preserve. Florida is home to more wetlands than any other state except Alaska. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2008)]
  9. People fill Community Cafe as drag queen Viktoria Sommers reads a Dr. Seuss book to children during Drag Queen Story Hour.  [Times (2019)]
  10. Tampa Electric Co. announced plans to double its solar capacity over the next three years.  Pictured is a Tampa Electric worker installing a solar panel on the roof of the Tampa International Airport economy parking garage in 2015. [James Borchuck | Times (2015)]
  11. Wawa and Coppertail partnered to create a craft beer that will only be at the gas station's Florida locations.
  12. The Publix at Channelside (pictured) opened in late August. Now the new store at Westshore in Tampa will open later this month. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement