Maine Government Data Breach Affects More Than 1 Million Residents
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Maine Government Data Breach Affects More Than 1 Million Residents

Maine officials have acknowledged that a Russian-linked ransomware group orchestrated a data breach earlier this year that compromised the personal information of more than 1 million residents of the state.

The breach was first discovered in May 2023, when hackers exploited a vulnerability in the MOVEit file transfer system used by the Maine state government to store sensitive data on state residents.Between May 28 and 29, attackers successfully accessed and downloaded files from specific state agencies.

The State of Maine began notifying affected residents in July 2023 after completing an assessment of the compromised files. Stolen information may include an individual’s name, date of birth, social security number, driver’s license details, and other state or taxpayer identification numbers. In addition, certain individuals’ medical and health insurance information was compromised in the security breach.

Maine Government Data Breach Affects More Than 1 Million Residents

More than half of the employees of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and about one-third of the employees of the Department of Education were affected by the breach. The rest of the data involved multiple other agencies, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Corrections.

The State of Maine is the latest entity to be affected by the massive MOVEit hack, which is considered one of the largest cyber incidents of the year due to the number of victims. Cybersecurity firm Emsisoft reports that more than 2,500 organizations have disclosed MOVEit-related data breaches, affecting at least 69 million people.

Advice for affected individuals

Affected individuals should take the following steps to protect themselves from identity theft and other forms of fraud:

Monitor their credit reports for any unauthorized activity.
Place a fraud alert on their credit report.
Consider freezing their credit report.
Use caution when clicking on links in emails or opening attachments from unknown senders.
Use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication for all online accounts.

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