California DMV warns of data breach after a contractor was hit by ransomware – TechCrunch


California’s Department of Motor Motor vehicles is warning of a prospective knowledge breach immediately after a contractor was strike by ransomware.

The Seattle-primarily based Automatic Money Transfer Services (AFTS), which the DMV claimed it has utilised for verifying improvements of address with the nationwide database due to the fact 2019, was strike by an unspecified strain of ransomware before this month.

In a statement sent by email, the DMV mentioned that the assault could have compromised “the very last 20 months of California car registration documents that comprise names, addresses, license plate numbers and auto identification quantities.” But the DMV claimed AFTS does not have entry to customers’ Social Protection numbers, dates of delivery, voter registration, immigration status or driver’s license information, and was not compromised.

The DMV stated it has considering that stopped all data transfers to AFTS and has since initiated an emergency agreement to avert any downtime.

AFTS is utilized throughout the United States to process payments, invoices and verify addresses. Various municipalities have by now confirmed that they are impacted by the data breach, suggesting it may possibly not be limited to California’s DMV. But it is not recognized what form of ransomware strike AFTS. Ransomware usually encrypts a company’s documents and will unlock them in trade for a ransom. But considering the fact that many corporations have backups, some ransomware teams threaten to publish the stolen information on the internet until the ransom is paid.

AFTS could not be right away arrived at for comment. Its internet site is offline, with a shorter information: “The website for AFTS and all relevant payment processing web site [sic] are unavailable because of to specialized difficulties. We are working on restoring them as speedily as possible.”

“We are hunting at further steps to carry out to bolster protection to shield information and facts held by the DMV and organizations that we agreement with,” stated Steve Gordon, the director of the state’s DMV.

Previous calendar year it was reported that California’s DMV makes additional than $50 million a year by promoting drivers’ personal facts, together with to bondsmen and non-public investigators.

California has far more than 35 million registered cars.



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