Hackers Access Job Seeker SSNs, DOBs

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Hackers have accessed job-seeker information from America’s JobLink (AJL), a multi-state web-based system that links job seekers with employers.

AJL works with various state governments and the US Department of Labor to act as a national resource for employment opportunities. The organization said that an outside source exploited a vulnerability in the AJL application code to view the names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth of job seekers in the AJL systems of up to 10 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Oklahoma and Vermont.

The timeline is fairly concise: On February 20, the intruder created a job seeker account in an AJL system. The hacker then was able to leverage a misconfiguration in the application code to gain unauthorized access. After noticing unusual activity, American’s Job Link Alliance–Technical Support (AJLA–TS) uncovered the incursion and disabled the hacker’s access to the AJL systems on March 14. It’s now working with law enforcement officials and the FBI to identify and apprehend the perpetrator.

There’s no word on how many users were affected, but AJLA-TS said that it’s working with an independent forensic firm to find that out, including where those individuals are located. It also indicated that it has been working on notifications, with most victims receiving an email by the first week in April.

“Notifying potentially affected individuals has been a top priority since AJLA–TS discovered that the error messages we were receiving were due to malicious activity and not a technical issue,” it said. “The forensic firm’s analysis required the review of a significant amount of system data. This analysis was needed to confirm that the hacker had actually accessed individuals’ information, so as not to unnecessarily alarm affected individuals.”

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