Social Security Numbers Belonging to Florida Residents Swiped in Data Breach

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recently notified 469 people that their Social Security numbers aren’t so “secure” anymore.

The numbers may have obtained in a data breach that appears to have originated overseas, according to a press release posted on the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website on May 22, 2017.

According to this Government Security story, the agency believes an online payments system was breached about two weeks ago, spokesperson Jenn Meale said.

Additionally, the names of more than 16,000 concealed weapons permit holders in Florida may also have been taken in the attack. Only the names of the concealed weapons licensees who renewed online are at risk.

“No other individually identifying information of the concealed weapon licensees was compromised,” according to the press release.

Back to the Social Security numbers, which are oft-considered the most valuable piece of your personal identifying information to thieves because it can help them open new bank accounts, credit cards and even fraudulently file tax returns in order to steal refunds.

“The social security numbers that may have been obtained had been entered in an online field where either a social security number or Federal Employer Identification Number could be entered. In 2009, the department began only to request a FEIN in this field and stopped the prior practice of requesting either a social security number or FEIN.”

Despite that change, some people may have entered their social security number into the field.

According to this story, the online payment system compromised was “for application, registration, renewal and permit fees,” Meale said.

Customers who may have been affected by this data breach can call 800-350-1119 for more information.


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