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Home » Hacking News » Hackers gain entry to key state database Personnel files

Hackers gain entry to key state database Personnel files

by Nikola Strahija on May 26th, 2002 Computer hackers have cracked into the state's personnel database and gained access to financial information for all 265,000 state workers, including Governor Gray Davis, officials said Friday. The database, housed at state's Teale Data Center in Rancho Cordova, holds names, Social Security numbers, and payroll information for everyone from office workers to judges.

Authorities said that so far they have found no evidence that the information has been used illegally.

"There was a breach in the data base, but there is no information to suggest that any of the information has been used to date," said Sacramento County sheriff's spokesman James Lewis.

The governor's office alerted state workers to the breach Friday and provided information on how they can further protect their personal information.

The breach occurred on April 5, an investigation determined. State Controller Kathleen Connell said her office, which administers the state's payroll, noticed during a routine security check on May 7 that the system had been penetrated.

Connell said the data operations manager assured her the system had been fixed as of Friday afternoon and was again secure.

No suspect has been identified, but the FBI tracked the hacker to a Lycos e- mail address based in Massachusetts.

Steve Maviglio, the governor's spokesman, said the breach did not signal a significant break-down on the part of the state computer security.

"This happens to thousands of computers worldwide, it's not isolated to the state," Maviglio said. "We have strong protections but hackers are able to figure ways around it.

"From all initial reports," he said, "it looks like we might have nipped this in the bud. . . . We did all we could to prevent this and we'll do all we can to prevent any adverse consequence."

The investigation is being led by the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Task Force, which includes the sheriff's departments of nine Northern California counties. The California Highway Patrol and FBI are also participating in the case.

"This is certainly a significant investigation from our perspective, and we are committed to working with our partners in the Sheriff's office, California Highway Patrol and other law enforcement partners," said FBI spokesman Nick Rossi.

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