February 2, 2023

The Washington state Department of Licensing has disclosed a potential data breach that may have exposed the details of about 250,000 professional licenses.

In a statement released, it says it became aware of suspicious activity involving professional and occupational license data during Jan 2022. It launched an investigation with the assistance of the Washington Office of Cybersecurity, DOL also shut down its Professional Online Licensing and Regulatory Information System as a precaution.

The department said it has no indication that any other DOL data was affected. The POLARIS system stores information about license holders and applicants. That data may include social security numbers, dates of birth, driver license numbers and other personally-identifying information.

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The department is advising those who may be affected by the potential data breach to remain vigilant, consider placing a fraud alert or security freeze on their credit file and to report suspicious activity.

The possible theft of data could be state-sponsored, it could be a hacking group stealing the data because it can, or it could be a group planning to threaten publishing the data if a payment is not made.

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