TX: Data breach may affect 4,900 state workers

Is there any state employee left in Texas who hasn’t had their data breached this year?

Chuck Lindell reports:

The Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services has begun notifying 4,900 current and former employees that a security breach may have exposed their personal information.Personal information for employees of other agencies — the former Texas Rehabilitation Commission, the Commission for the Blind and the Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing — also may have been exposed.

Current employees were notified of the breach today by e-mail, and phone calls will “soon” be made to former employees, according to the state health department, according to the state health department.

“We do not know at this time whether your personal information was misused in any way, but I have instructed supervisors to give you time today to protect your information,” said the e-mail from Debra Wanser, commissioner of the Department of Assistive & Rehabilitative Services.

Wanser was informed of the potential data breach at 2 p.m. Thursday “and took immediate steps to secure the information,” according to Stephanie Goodman, spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Commission. The commission’s inspector general has begun an investigation, and law enforcement agencies and the state auditor were notified, Goodman said.

Read more on statesman.com.

Notice that there’s no real details in their about what data types or how the breach occurred or when it occurred. You might hope that they would have included such information in their email to current and former employees so that the employees can make their own risk assessment, but the article reports, “State officials said no additional information will be released — including how the data was exposed — while the investigation continues.” So we don’t know whether this was a hack or some employee stealing and selling data or a lost backup tape? Nothing? Did they really tell those affected  nothing? I know law enforcement needs to investigate but people also need information.

If any reader received the email, please post it in the comments section under this post.

Update 1:  KUT News has posted a copy of the state’s press release.

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