Worm could expose personal info of unemployed to hackers

The names, Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, and e-mail and street addresses of an unknown number of the nearly 282,000 unemployed workers seeking state help in Massachusetts might have been exposed to hackers, Eric Chabrow writes at GovInfoSecurity.com.

Officials said a strain of the W32.Qakbot worm had infected as many as 1,500 computers at the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance and Department of Career Services, the article states.

It is difficult to determine how many people were affected, but those who had their unemployment insurance files accessed manually from April 19 through May 13 could be at risk, officials said. Workers whose former employers filed claim information electronically likely were not affected.

Officials had enlisted the help of security provider Symantec to vanquish the virus before any damage was done and initially thought their efforts had been successful. However, they learned May 16 that the worm hadn't been defeated, and its persistence resulted in the data breach, the article states.

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