Hackers Target WV Unemployment Service

Robert LilesCybersecurity

It is practically inevitable that at some point in life, almost everyone will need to perform a job search. For first-time jobseekers, people re-entering the workforce after an extended hiatus, those unemployed after a layoff or termination, and those attempting to enter a new industry the job search can be particularly frustrating and defeating.

Whether a person needs a job, needs gainful employment, or is ready to move on from a current company, anyone would want to minimize the stress involved in the process. Technology has made the job hunt much easier—going door-to-door to see who’s hiring, combing the classifieds in the local paper, and typing individual resumes for each job are bygone job search traits.

Advancing the job search technologically is a double-edged sword, however. Making it easier to apply also potentially increases the number of applicants to a position. Software can also filter out applications and reject applicants before human eyes have a chance to review their credentials. And of course, there is the looming threat of data breaches.

Job seekers have enough to worry about without the added anxiety of their personal information being accessed. In many cases, job seekers are desperate and more vulnerable, which can make them easy marks for cybercriminals who use fraudulent ads to get applicants to hand over information. In a recent incident in West Virginia, cybercriminals preyed on some of the state’s vulnerable citizens.

In Search of Full-Time Security

On April 13, 2021 the job seeker database WorkForce West Virginia learned that an unauthorized party accessed its network. The Mid Atlantic Career Consortium Employment Services database—or MACC—was breached, forcing officials to take the system offline to secure it. They then hired an external computer forensics firm to investigate the matter.

One month later, on May 14 the forensics analysis revealed the scope of the information possibly breached. The sensitive job seeker information includes names, contact information, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers.

WorkForce West Virginia stated that, while they were uncertain as to how many people’s data was potentially exposed, no files were downloaded or altered. Those who may have been compromised in the breach were notified.

WorkForce West Virginia is the state’s agency to help its citizens in some work related matters. The agency allows unemployed residents to collect benefits, while also providing services to help with finding a job and labor market information.

Defending Data

The forensics firm helped WorkForce West Virginia to identify what happened and what was accessed. Though a detailed forensics analysis unveils much information, including the scope of damage and access, it is increasingly imperative that any company or organization set up a comprehensive data security solution.

SecureData offers a range of services regarding breaches, including hardware and software, and forensics analysis. The line of security products helps to protect computers and drives across the organization through single or combined solutions.

If you have been the victim of a breach, or would like to learn more about setting up a solid security system, contact an expert today at 1-800-520-1677.