Thousands Impacted By PA Child Care Works Breach

  • By Steven
  • Aug 16, 2023

Pennsylvania Child Care Works program

The Pennsylvania Child Care Works program helps low-income families pay for their childcare costs. The program offers a portion of the childcare payment amount, and the families pay the rest. This system helps citizens throughout Pennsylvania get access to quality childcare. To qualify to use the system, applicants must fill out paperwork containing personal and financial information. This data is used to verify that they meet all the requirements of the program. More than 11,000 people that submitted their information to the Child Care Works program have been exposed to a data attack. All that information stored in the government file systems was accessed and may have been copied for re-use. This is a significant issue that could impact every one of the people exposed. 

How Did the Attack Occur?

We only know that the Pennsylvania Child Care Works files were accessed on June 26 and June 27, 2023, but we don't know how the hacker was able to get into the files, to begin with. It doesn't matter so much how the systems were breached, only that they were and that information is now vulnerable to misuse. 

What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?

We don't know what specific data was taken in the breach, but we suspect that it's both financial and personal information. Things like monthly or annual income, household size, resident names, Social Security numbers, employment history, and more could be included. All these data points were likely gathered during the application process for the program, and they could be harmful if misused by the attackers. 

How Did the PA Child Care Works Program Admit to the Breach?

The most important thing the PA CHild Care Works Program did to admit it suffered from a data breach was to send out 11,687 letters to all the individuals identified as possible victims of the breach. Each of these people will receive a document explaining more details about the breach and what they can expect from the attack. The letters were likely sent out because this breach exposed personal information, but we don't have any details about what data, in particular, was exposed. 

What Will Become of the Stolen Information?

The stolen data could lead to serious problems for everyone involved in this breach. If your Social Security number was taken, along with a few other key data points, the attackers have enough to launch an identity theft attack and attempt to open fraudulent accounts in your name. Along with using the data for identity theft attacks, the hackers will likely leverage the information to create convincing phishing attacks in an attempt to take more information, such as account usernames and passwords. This is why avoiding giving away data to someone you don't know and trust is essential. Avoid sending personal details via text message or email because doing so will normally result in financial losses. 

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

If you get a notification informing you that your data was involved in this breach, you should check your credit for any odd changes. You should also invest in credit monitoring services. Avoid sending personal information via email, and consider freezing your credit. All these changes can help protect you from any attacks the hackers try and use.

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