Personal identifying information may be at risk for thousands of Massachusetts residents. According to Hiawatha Bray at the Boston Globe, personal identifying information may have been stolen from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development when its computers were infected with a computer worm.
“Unfortunately, like many government and non-government organizations we were targeted by criminal hackers who penetrated our system with a new strain of a virus,” said Joanne F. Goldstein, the commonwealth’s secretary of labor and workforce development. ”All steps possible are being taken to avoid any future recurrence.”
Approximately 1,500 computers in the departments of Unemployment Assistance and Career Services and at the state’s One Stop Career Centers were infected with a computer virus called W32.QAKBOT. The worm is programmed to permit a hacker to control of infected computer and take data stored on the machine. The agency first detected the presence of the virus on April 20, and took steps to disinfect its computers, but the virus ”was not remediated as originally believed
and that the persistence of the virus resulted in a data breach.”