Nashville, Tennessee (AP) —Cyber attacks on software companies have disrupted unemployment benefits and job-seeking support for thousands of people in several states.
In Tennessee, the unemployment allowance website remained down Thursday morning after vendor Geographic Solutions Inc. told the state that it would be out of service on Sunday. About 12,000 Tennessees are dependent on the unemployment program and so far they have not been paid. Also, there is no timeline yet for when to resume.
“It is unacceptable that the recession is imminent and Tennessees will not be able to receive the unemployment benefits they deserve,” said State Republican Senator Paul Bailey, chairman of the Commerce and Labor Commission.
Unemployment websites in several other states were also affected. In Louisiana, people trying to apply for unemployment online are instructed to use a call center instead. The website for filing claims in Nebraska has been taken offline, saying the state does not have an accurate timeline as to when it will be backed up.
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“Individuals cannot apply for unemployment until the system is back online,” Grace Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Nebraska Ministry of Labor, said in an email.
It’s still unclear whether it was a ransomware attack or another type of cyber incident that affected Geographic Solutions. Also, the number of affected states is not clear.
The Geographic Solutions website didn’t work Thursday morning, and the phone message asking for comment from the company wasn’t immediately returned. The Florida-based company states that its customers include more than 35 states and territories.
Some state-owned job search sites, including Tennessee, have also been taken offline due to the attack. Florida said it has temporarily abandoned job hunting requirements for those receiving unemployment benefits. Texas has created a new website for job seekers with links to popular job search sites such as LinkedIn.
According to Nebraska, Geographic Solutions shows that your personal data is not at risk. Florida said there were no signs that the state’s system had been compromised.
Bailey, a Tennessee parliamentarian, said the state’s Ministry of Labor needs a backup plan. “I’m not entirely dependent on a system that has proven unreliable,” he said. He said the state should provide people with unemployment benefits now and “do whatever it takes” to streamline the process of updating the system with the funds secured by state legislators.
The length of the potential outage is unknown. Texas said it expects job-hunting sites to remain offline until early next week.
State governments and their contractors are often the target of cybercriminals. Nigerian online scammers were particularly active in stealing rising unemployment during the peak coronavirus pandemic.
Ransomware attacks, where criminals demand payment to encrypt victims’ data and restore it to normal, continue to disrupt digital systems that provide critical government services.Recent ransomware attacks on Costa Rica Caused by the government Teachers became unpaid, causing confusion in the national health system.
Last year, cybercriminals launched a ransomware attack in the United States, Oil pipeline It supplied to the east coast and stopped the world’s largest production Meat processing It has invaded a major software company that is a company and has thousands of customers around the world.
Despite prioritizing the issue, the US government could hardly hold the major ransomware actors accountable. Many are exempt from liability in or near Russia.
Alan Lisca, an intelligence analyst at cybersecurity firm Recorded Future, clearly reminds us of the potential impact of cybercrime on attacks that affect people who have lost their jobs due to unemployment benefits. Said that.
“The biggest negative impact of this is the people with the fewest resources,” he said.
Suderman reported from Richmond, Virginia.
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Cyberattacks disrupt unemployment benefits in some states | Technology
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