Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Risk Management

Breach of Washington State Database May Expose Personal Information

The Washington State Department of Licensing said the personal information of potentially millions of licensed professionals may have been exposed after it detected suspicious activity on its online licensing system.

The Washington State Department of Licensing said the personal information of potentially millions of licensed professionals may have been exposed after it detected suspicious activity on its online licensing system.

The agency licenses about 40 categories of businesses and professionals, from auctioneers to real estate agents, and it shut down its online platform temporarily after learning of the activity in January, agency spokesperson Christine Anthony said Friday. Data stored on the system, which is called POLARIS, could include Social Security numbers, birth dates and driver’s licenses.

The agency doesn’t yet know whether such data was actually accessed or how many individuals may have been affected, Anthony said.

[ ReadOver 1 Million Impacted by Data Breach at Washington State Auditor ]

Anthony said the agency has been working with the state Office of Cybersecurity, the state Attorney General’s Office and a third-party cybersecurity firm to understand the scope of the incident, The Seattle Times reported Friday.

In the meantime, the shutdown of the POLARIS system is causing problems for some professionals and firms that need to apply for, renew or modify their licensing.

The disruption comes at a busy time for real estate agents, appraisers and home inspectors as the state’s real estate market begins to pick up after its typical winter slowdown.

The size of the breach remains unclear. Data from 23 professions and business types licensed by the state is processed via POLARIS, Anthony said.

Within those 23 categories, which also include bail bonds agents, funeral directors, home inspectors and notaries, the agency has around 257,000 active licenses in its system, Anthony said, adding that “there are likely more records that may be identified while conducting our investigation.”

RelatedServer at Washington State Courts Office Hacked: Sensitive Data Exposed

Written By

Click to comment

Expert Insights

Related Content

Application Security

Cycode, a startup that provides solutions for protecting software source code, emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday with $4.6 million in seed funding.

CISO Strategy

Cybersecurity-related risk is a top concern, so boards need to know they have the proper oversight in place. Even as first-timers, successful CISOs make...

Risk Management

A threat-based approach to security often focuses on a checklist to meet industry requirements but overlooked the key component of security: reducing risk.

Risk Management

CISA has published a report detailing the cybersecurity risks to the K-12 education system and recommendations on how to secure it.

Funding/M&A

More than 4,000 internet-accessible Pulse Connect Secure hosts are impacted by at least one known vulnerability, attack surface management firm Censys warns.

Cybersecurity Funding

2022 Cybersecurity Year in Review: Top news headlines and trends that impacted the security ecosystem

Application Security

Fortinet on Monday issued an emergency patch to cover a severe vulnerability in its FortiOS SSL-VPN product, warning that hackers have already exploited the...