Massachusetts Department of Youth Services Makes Simple Mistake That Could Affect Thousands

  • By Steven
  • Dec 21, 2022

Data breaches are a fickle thing; they can affect millions of individuals, or they can affect barely anyone. They can be ransomware attacks, phishing scams, credential stuffing, firewall cracking, etc. There are practically no limits to what hackers can achieve. But what do we do when there is no hacker? What happens when there isn’t a bad guy? This is a perfect example, as the “breach” resulted from an employee including incorrect files in a schedule binder.

How Did the Breach Occur?

Certain things would never cross our minds when talking about cybersecurity. An example of this would be a massive data leak that actually had nothing to do with anything cyber-related. This breach occurred when an employee printed out the wrong files and shared them with an undisclosed number of individuals. It is unclear whether the employee shared the data with colleagues or customers. Still, the company hasn’t said how many individuals were affected or how many people had access to the information.

What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?

The leaked information contained social security numbers, addresses, names, and license numbers. “DYS has taken steps to make sure this type of event does not happen again,” according to the report filed with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.

How Did DYS Admit to the Breach?

DYS admitted to the breach by sending notifications to the affected individuals, of which there is no official number, and sent a notice to the Massachusetts State Attorney General. The notifications contained very little information on the breach. However, it did recommend that all victims file a police report, as it will help to file credit freezes and may help the victims in other ways.

What Will Become of the Leaked Information?

The leaked information was incredibly sensitive and may result in massive problems for the victims. The leaked social security numbers and license numbers put the victims at risk more than the names and addresses do. Luckily, the victims have many resources available to them. We aren’t sure how many people got a hold of the data or what they plan to do with the information. We can only offer our best advice to victims and their loved ones so if they do end up having their data misused, they can feel safer knowing there are people on their side to help them.

What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?

There is some surprisingly good news associated with this breach. All the victims are Massachusetts residents or were at one point. According to Massachusetts law, all data breach victims have the right to request a free credit freeze from any or all the three credit reporting agencies that serve the world. You can also invest in credit monitoring from these same bureaus or device monitoring services from one of the many software titles available. The more protection you have, the safer your personal data will remain.

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