State Closed Due to Data Breach … Gone Fishin’


No that gone fishin’ thing isn’t taken from one of those homey signs plastered all over a Cracker Barrel restaurant. It’s closer to what the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife told folks recently in response to a cybersecurity investigation.

Visitors to the agency’s website learned they could fish without a license through Aug. 30:  “The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has temporarily suspended the sale of fishing and hunting licenses while it works with the state Office of Cyber Security (OCS) to investigate a vulnerability in an outside vendor’s license sale system.”

Although the department doesn’t identify the outside vendor or nature of the security vulnerability, it comes on the heels of Oracle Corp.’s confirmation that its point-of-sale (POS) system Micros had been hacked and malicious code left in place on some machines. Oracle estimated in 2014 when it bought Micros that it ran in 330,000 locations in 180 countries.

In a related fishing-life breach incident, Washington state-based outdoor gear retailer Eddie Bauer LLC recently announced that its in-store POS systems had also been hacked. Data security guru and independent journalist Brian Krebs reported that Eddie Bauer had been working with the FBI and a computer security forensics company to detect and remove malicious code from its cash registers.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game also announced that hunting and fishing license buyer personal information may have been breached.

Meanwhile across the country, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources announced a breach of customer names, addresses, birth dates, partial Social Security and phone numbers and email addresses, according to WCPO Channel 9 TV in Cincinnati. The department’s website makes no mention of such a breach and there isn’t any offer license-free fishing or hunting.

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By Donald G. Aplin