Security Breach At Louisiana OMV Might Have Your Data At Risk
Hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents have recently been sent an email from the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles.
While many might have considered this email to be some type of phishing attempt or a clever spam, the email is legitimate and explains the circumstances following a recent security breach of data from the state governmental agency.
The email, which you might have already seen and possibly even deleted, begins like this:
The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Public Safety Services, Office of Motor Vehicle (“OMV”) responded to a data security incident that involved personal information of individuals who were issued a Louisiana driver’s license, identification card and/ or vehicle registrations. This notice explains the incident, the measures that have been taken, and some steps you can take in response.
On May 31, 2023, Progress Software Corporation, which developed and supports the MOVEIt managed file transfer platform, notified all customers across the globe, including OMV, of a zero-day vulnerability that an unauthorized party leveraged to access and acquire data without authorization. Upon learning of the incident, immediate measures were taken to secure the MOVEIt environment utilized to transfer files. A thorough investigation was conducted, and it was determined that there was unauthorized acquisition of and access to OMV files in the MOVEIt environment.
The agency's website goes on to say that, through analysis, OMV determined that files involved in the incident contained the personal information of individuals who applied for and/or were issued a Louisiana driver's license, identification card and/or vehicle registration. The information varied by individual but included name and one or more of the following: address, date of birth, Social Security number, driver's license, learner's permit, or identification card number, height, eye color, vehicle registration information, and handicap placard information.
OMV is emailing notices to individuals whose information was involved in the incident and for whom OMV located an email address. In addition, OMV established a dedicated, toll-free call center to answer questions that individuals may have. If you believe your information was involved and have any questions about this incident, please call (866) 861-8717. The call center will be open twenty-four (24) hours per day and seven (7) days a week. Additionally, OMV is offering twelve (12) months of free credit monitoring and identify theft protection from LifeLock. Involved Louisiana residents should follow the instructions below to register for this service.
OMV has retained LifeLock to provide one (1) year of complimentary LifeLock Standard™ identity theft protection.
To activate your membership online and get protection at no cost to you, please see enrollment instructions available at https://nextsteps.la.gov/enrollment.
OMV encourages all Louisianans whose information was involved in this incident to actively monitor for the possibility of fraud and identity theft by reviewing your financial statements and credit reports for any unauthorized activity. If you notice any unauthorized activity, contact the relevant financial institution or the credit bureau reporting the activity immediately.
To help prevent something like this from happening again, additional safeguards and technical security measures have been implemented to further protect and monitor the MOVEIt environment.
Additional Steps You Can Take
It is always advisable to be vigilant for incidents of fraud or identity theft by reviewing your account statements, health insurance benefit statements, healthcare billing statements and free credit reports for any unauthorized activity. You may obtain a copy of your credit report, free of charge, once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. To order your annual free credit report, please visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll free at (877) 322-8228. Contact information for the three nationwide credit reporting companies is as follows:
- Equifax, PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374, www.equifax.com, (888) 378-4329
- Experian, PO Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013, www.experian.com, (888) 397-3742
- TransUnion, PO Box 1000, Chester, PA 19016, www.transunion.com, (800) 916-8800
If you believe you are the victim of identity theft or have reason to believe your personal information has been misused, you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission and/or the Louisiana Attorney General's Office. You can obtain information from these sources about steps an individual can take to avoid identity theft as well as information about fraud alerts and security freezes. You should also contact your local law enforcement authorities and file a police report. Obtain a copy of the police report in case you are asked to provide copies to creditors to correct your records. Contact information for the Federal Trade Commission is as follows:
- Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580, 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338), www.identitytheft.gov