Parking Tickets and Other Violations

Computer security concept

Suffolk County, New York, has been dealing with serious fallout since cyberattack back in September of 2022, in which hackers reportedly stole 4 terabytes of data from the county computer systems. Just to give some perspective, a single terabyte (TB) can hold 1,000 copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica. With one edition being about 33,000 pages, that is approximately 33,000,000 of pages contained in a single terabyte.  You do the math for Suffolk County!  No wonder they have been slow to release information!

Suffolk County announced Wednesday that about 470,000 driver’s license numbers may have been accessed by those responsible for the cyberattack. The license numbers belong to those who were issued moving violations within the Suffolk County Police Department between 2013 and Sept. 8, 2022- a long period of time!

In addition, identification numbers (such as driver’s license or passport) presented at the county agency when paying Suffolk County issued tickets, such as parking tickets, may also have  been accessed.  It would be safest to interpret “may” as this happened. The good news is the county is offering complimentary identity theft protections to individuals who were issued moving violations by Suffolk County.  The bad news is that these victims will face a lifetime of possible identity theft problems and their moving violations still stand.

Supposedly law enforcement and IT managers were alerted to suspicious activity on the county computer networks as early as June but did not act to contain it. The county took its computers and servers offline on September 8, 2022 in response to the cyberattack.  Operations have been crippled as a result with county websites, email, payments, and other functions essentially closed. And the forensic investigation and work to rebuilt the computer servers to bring the government’s networks back online may cost nearly $5 million.

Shout out to those who have never gotten a parking ticket!  So far your identity might be safe!

Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on an article “Bellone: Cyberattack breached county traffic agency, potentially exposing personal data of people issued moving violations over past decade” published by Riverhead Local News on November 25, 2022

Suffolk County, still struggling to recover from a cyberattack earlier this year in which hackers reportedly stole 4 terabytes of data from county computer systems, revealed for the first time Wednesday specific information about a large-scale breach of a county network.

Personal data of individuals who were issued nearly half a million moving violations in the Suffolk County Police District during the past decade may have been accessed by hackers, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s office said in the Thanksgiving eve press release.

Approximately 470,000 moving violations were issued between 2013 and Sept. 8, 2022, the day the county took its computers systems offline in response to the cyberattack.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.