NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Over six million records of personal information belonging to Louisiana residents were compromised in a cyber security breach at the Office of Motor Vehicles in June, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC).
Hackers targeted the OMV’s MOVEit File Transfer System, which is used to submit and store large data files. OMV believes that all Louisianans with a state-issued driver’s license, ID, or car registration have likely had the data exposed.
“It’s not just your name, address, and phone number. It has your profile picture, your driver’s license picture, your height, and your weight,” cyber security expert Nam Nguyen said.
ITRC Chief Operating Officer James E. Lee said that the state’s OMV wasn’t the only agency targeted in the hack. Around 160 organizations, including schools, businesses, and government agencies were all victims.
The complexity of the hack makes it hard for Lee and his team to pinpoint just how many people were impacted.
“We really don’t know how many people have been impacted. We know that the number of people who have reported are more than 40 million,” Lee said.
With so much personal data swirling around the internet, Lee says scammers have started to prey on anyone that they can.
“Thieves steal this information for the sole purpose of trying to make money,” Lee said. “They are going to either make money by trying to impersonate you, they’re going to make money by selling the information, or they are going to use the info to contact you to try and get you to try and get you to give up more information.”
The OMV says a good way to make sure some of your personal information is monitored, is by enrolling in free identity theft protection through the state at nextsteps.la.gov.
“This breach was pretty big and involved so many other organizations so maybe they gathered so much data they haven’t gotten around to using it. So, if someone is offering free credit monitoring, I would take it up,” Nguyen said.
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