The personal data of more than 250,000 licensed professionals in Washington may have made it to the “dark web,” where identity thieves gather information to enact their various schemes. Personal information of some of the hundreds of thousands of licensed professionals potentially exposed in a breach of a Washington state database may already have shown up on “dark web” clearinghouses used by identity thieves. State investigators haven’t said whether Social Security numbers and other personal data were actually stolen from a database of more than 250,000 professional and business licensees used by the state Department of Licensing, agency officials said.
There are unfortunately frequent breaches from Government departments involving very detailed personal information. We detected a leak of data from the Department of Licensing on the 24th January involving a claimed 24k records and then only a few weeks later a breach of a Government website with details of more than 500,000 citizens. Organisations and Governments need to be proactive in their cyber security by relying on darkweb scanning to find early warning signals of attacks or breaches. Simply doing traditional Cyber defence is no longer sufficient.