Hackers may have names of thousands of Florida gun owners

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By: Jake Stofan; Capitol News Service
May 23, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- 16,000 Floridians with data on file with the Florida Department of Agriculture may have had their personal information compromised. Most of the information was hacked from the Concealed Carry License Database, and the department is calling the hack unprecedented.

The Department of Agriculture says it fights hundreds of cyber-attacks each day, but it also says it has never experienced an attack like the one that obtained data on thousands of residents.

The Department of Agriculture announced the attack on its website Monday. The department says 16,000 people had their names, but no other identifying information, stolen off the Concealed Carry License Database.

Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam says, “This was an unprecedented attack. It came just a couple of days before the global hack that occurred.”

Over 400 people who renewed their licenses with a credit card online had their social security numbers compromised.

“They had used their social security number in e-commerce business transactions within the department. Not gun related,” says Putnam.

Marion Hammer with the National Rifle Association fought to take the names of concealed carry permit holders out of public record nearly two decades ago. She has confidence the Department of Agriculture will do what is necessary to protect permit holders’ privacy.

“Hackers are getting more sophisticated, but we're also getting more sophisticated in how to stop it,” says Hammer.

The more than 400 people who had their social security numbers stolen in the breach are being offered protection through life lock.

A review of the department’s cyber security measures has been ordered in light of the attack.

Hammer says, “I'm sure there's a renewed effort. To be sure that a hack of that main database cannot occur.”

The Department of Law Enforcement believes the attack came from over-seas and is currently investigating the incident.

By: Associated Press
May 23, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Officials say hackers may have obtained the names of more than 16,000 people who have Florida concealed weapon permits.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced Monday they had discovered a data breach of the online payment system that processes payments for applications and permits.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has ordered a review of the department's cybersecurity measures. State law enforcement is investigating the breach, which authorities suspect originated from overseas.

The agency stated that no financial information was obtained.

The department also warned that the breach may have revealed the social security numbers of 469 customers. The agency plans on offering free credit protection for one year to these individuals.

The Florida Legislature in 2006 passed a law that made the names of concealed weapon permit holders confidential.

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