Data breach compromised info of 1.6 million Washington residents who filed for unemployment

The Washington State Auditor’s Office said a data breach compromised the personal information of 1.6 million residents who filed for unemployment last year.

The breach also may have exposed information from some state agencies and local governments.

State Auditor Pat McCarthy said the breach may have affected people who filed for unemployment between Jan. 1 to Dec. 10, 2020.

The compromised data includes names, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank information and place of employment. It also includes data held by the Department of Children, Youth and Families.

“This is completely unacceptable. We are frustrated and committed to doing everything we can to mitigate the harm caused by this crime,” McCarthy said.

The security incident involved a third-party host of software service which the office used to transmit files. The provider, Accellion, released a general announcement that it experienced a security incident in December.

The state auditor’s office has notified law enforcement and the attorney general’s office and said it will evaluate protocols for sharing data files in the future.

The office will also notify people whose personal information was compromised as soon as possible and set up a website with the latest information.