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Data Of 3 Mln Washingtonians Compromised: Attorney General

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A report by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson showed that personal data of nearly 3 million people in the state were compromised in the past year.

Ferguson released his second annual Data Breach Report Wednesday. His report finds that in one-year period between July 2016 and July 2017, data breaches affected nearly 3 million Washingtonians - more than six times the number impacted in the previous 12 months period.

The report focuses exclusively on significant data breaches that affected 500 or more residents of Washington. During the last fiscal year, 78 such data breaches were reported — twice the number of significant breaches reported to the Attorney General the previous fiscal year.

The release of the new Data Breach Report follows recent news that credit-monitoring company Equifax suffered a data breach, compromising the personal information of more than 145 million people nationwide. The Equifax breach happened after the dates covered by this year's report.

For the second year in a row, malicious cyber-attacks were the main cause of the breaches. A quarter of the breaches resulted from unauthorized people — such as third-party vendors or employees — gaining access to information.

Ferguson's report recommends government do a better job of securing data, including ensuring government contractors adequately secure personal consumer information.

The report also recommends businesses work to identify and resolve data breaches more quickly, and policymakers investigate whether to require swifter notice to the Attorney General and affected consumers after a breach.

Washington's law requires businesses and governments to notify the Attorney General's Office after suffering breaches affecting the personal information of at least 500 Washingtonians.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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