More than 123,000 people impacted by Tucson data breach

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 5:41 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - After a data breach affecting thousands in Tucson, the city is working to make sure its system is more secure.

But hackers could already have their hands on sensitive information.

This comes as data breaches and identity theft are increasing across the country, including attacks on numerous airports just last week.

The data breach in Tucson impacted over 123,000 people. The city believes it has contacted everyone who was affected, and this includes current and former city employees, as well as people with certain licenses.

Names, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and passport numbers are all part of the information that could have been accessed during the breach back in May. The city website was knocked offline, and officials are unsure how long someone could’ve had access to this information.

″Some of the data that was involved in that suspicious activity may have left the city network,” said Principal Assistant City Attorney Roi Lusk. “Once we determined that, we then went on a comprehensive investigation to make sure what the scope of that information was that got out and where it might have gone.”

The investigation just wrapped up and so far, there is no evidence that any personal information has been misused. The city is offering anyone impacted a year of credit monitoring. But the person or people responsible for the breach are still out there.

″Often times in these kinds of events, it’s not easy to determine who the actual actors are, what we call threat actors. Unfortunately, it’s just they do a really good job of hiding their tracks,” Lusk explained.

Right now, the city is conducting a citywide review of its systems in hopes that this will never happen again.

″What we find is that, after a data breach, organizations that have been breached tend to be more secure because they go on a state of high alert and shift priorities,” said Jim Van Dyke, Senior Vice President of Innovation at Sontiq.

Dyke has seen a number of large-scale breaches and he rates each on on a scale of one to 10. The City of Tucson breach was ranked at a five.

“Most breaches score about a two or a three, the majority,” he said. “his one was significantly higher in risk and people need to take action.”

With the increase in data breaches, he said it’s more important than ever to protect yourself. This means being aware of your credit score, knowing what data you have out there, and setting fraud alerts.