4.8 Million Jobseekers In 10 States May Have Had Data Stolen

Millions of jobseekers from 10 states may have had personal data, including Social Security numbers and birth dates, stolen by hackers.

America’s JobLink Alliance, which manages a multi-state job board network, announced last week that from February 23 to March 14 of this year, a hacker compromised the accounts of possibly as many as 4.8 million jobseekers. In Illinois alone some 1.4 million accounts were accessed, that state’s Department of Employment Security reported.

Each of the 10 separately branded state job boards involved in the data breach are managed by American’s Job Link Alliance–Technical Support (AJLA–TS), a vendor based in Topeka, KS. The service is offered through the U.S. Department of Labor and is used to match employers and employees, as well as to coordinate placement efforts through workforce development programs.

The states affected by the breach are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Oklahoma, and Vermont.

The AJLA claims that, on February 20, 2017, a hacker used a newly-created job seeker account in AJLA’s system to illegally access the details of various job seekers. The hacker exploited a flaw in the application code’s configuration, which the company has since resolved.

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The breach is being investigated by the FBI. AJLA-TS said it has also retained an independent forensic firm to investigate the cause and scope of the activity.

A call center was created by AJLA so people affected could get answers about the incident. From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST, Monday thru Friday, users may call 1-844-469-3939 toll-free or email AJLAincidentresponse@AJLA.net for customer service.

AJLA is also offering free credit monitoring services for those  affected. Those being helped will receive an activation code in an email from AJLA in order to access the solution. The email should come in the following week and will include detailed instructions about how to access the services.

Joel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead. He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to Jobing.com. He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is married and the father of three children. He lives in Indianapolis.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


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