- The Washington Times - Friday, July 5, 2019

The Maryland Department of Labor said Friday that it was contacting 78,000 customers who had their personal information stored on systems suspected of being breached.

An investigation conducted by the state’s IT office found that two separate systems maintained by the labor department — the Literacy Works Information System, or LWIS, and a legacy unemployment insurance service database — “were subject to possible unauthorized access through the Internet,” the agency announced in news release.

Full names, Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information were among data stored on each of the systems, according to the agency.

Law enforcement was notified, countermeasures were implemented and an independent expert was retained to investigate the incident, the agency said in the news release.

The investigation found no evidence of data being stolen the department’s servers, but the state is still offering two years of free credit monitoring to individuals affected.

“We live in an age of highly sophisticated information security threats,” said James E. Rzepkowski, Maryland’s acting labor secretary. “We are committed to doing all we can to protect our customers and their information. We strongly urge those impacted to be vigilant about unusual activity on their accounts, and to take advantage of the credit monitoring being offered by the state.”

“Maryland is working to ensure its cybersecurity strategy and policy are in alignment with best practices and the latest federal standards and guidelines,” added John Evans, the state’s chief information security officer. “We are working with the Department of Labor to minimize the impact of this breach, and to prevent future misuse of state systems.”

The Maryland Department of Labor advised potentially affected customers to visit a website containing further information.

Neither the Maryland State Police nor FBI immediately responded to requests for comment.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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