When viruses become thieves


The personal financial information of up to 210,000 unemployed Massachusetts residents may have been stolen in a data breach caused by a virus discovered in state labor department computers four weeks ago, officials said yesterday.  Names, addresses, and Social Security numbers, among other data, may have been taken, said John Glennon, chief information officer for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
 Agency workers began to complain that their computers were running sluggishly — a common sign that machines have been infected with a virus — and network managers tried in vain to clean the infected machines. They eventually discovered that the virus was capturing information being typed on the keyboards of infected computers. The cyber thieves might also have stolen information from the 1,200 employers that use the computers in state offices to enter information, and from visitors to the One Stop Career Centers who use the computers to look for work.
The state labor department website has posted more information for people who may be affected by the breach.
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