State of Maine Information Stolen via MOVEit: Nearly All Residents at Risk
Table of Contents
- By Steven
- Nov 13, 2023
Maine hosts over 1.3 million people within a granite and forest landscape. The state government employs under 100,000 individuals but does not contain fewer departments than more populous states like California. Maine’s state departments coordinate with each other by using backend file transfer systems; a globally utilized file transfer tool, Progress Software’s MOVEit application, has put nearly all Maine resident information at risk.
How Did the Attack Occur?
Progress Software released shocking news earlier in the year following an internal investigation. After the review, they announced that their software held a zero-day vulnerability. The vulnerability was significant, allowing groups of cybercriminals to access and download files that used the compromised software. Progress Software immediately sent a patch for the vulnerability, but organizations were already compromised. Overnight, organizations worldwide began investigating their systems, finding more criminal activity than ever before. Maine is one of those that has found individual resident information compromised as a result of the breach.
What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?
The stolen details include various data about Maine residents, though the extent of information exposure depends on the individual. According to the State of Maine Data Breach Press Release, the compromised data may include full names, Social Security Numbers, date of birth, driver’s licenses and state identification numbers, taxpayer identification numbers, and some medical and health information. Due to the vital nature of these credentials, all those impacted by the breach must seek additional assistance.
How Did the State of Maine Admit to the Breach?
The MOVEit software vulnerability was made public on May 31st, 2023. Immediately following the announcement, the state began an internal investigation. From their review, the attack purportedly occurred between May 28th and 29th; however, it is possible these are placeholder dates, and the attack occurred earlier. The state’s investigation included an assessment of impacted individuals—they will receive a notice via a press release, letter mail, or email.
What Will Become of the Stolen Information?
The attackers might use the stolen data in many ways; it could be up for ransom, bulk, and individual sales, or meant to perform sophisticated impersonations. Although the involved data does not include financial data, some bad actors can still generate new credit or bank accounts. Those exposed may have a future of identity fraud, but residents can take steps to help mitigate these hypothetical situations.
What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?
The State of Maine Incident Report, published on their website, states that 1.3 million people may feel the breach impact. Although not all residents have had their information exposed, most residents have. The breached systems contained data from many departments, including the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and Department of Corrections.
Maine residents must act immediately to protect themselves and their families. Consider monitoring services for all accounts, including children’s. Enable multi-factor authentications everywhere possible and conduct device updates often; also utilize password managers, which can store and create ultra-strong passcodes. Some residents may benefit from obtaining new accounts. Despite the inconvenience, it’s the most substantial way to secure your information.