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Report: Millions Affected by Washington State Data Breaches

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A new report released by the Washington Attorney General’s Office reveals millions have been affected by data breaches in Washington State this year.

The report reveals data breaches at several companies, including Seattle Housing Authority, Brooks Brothers and Four Seasons Hotels.

“As you see in this report, sometimes it’s small business -a few hundred or a few thousand consumers, but that’s a big, big deal to those consumers,” said Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

The Attorney General’s Office 2017 Data Breach Report, shows the number of data breach notifications doubled this year-affecting nearly three-million Washington State residents.

“I wasn’t surprised there was an increase, a doubling of the number of data breaches and five times the number of consumers being impacted, that took me a little, that took be by surprise a little bit,” said Ferguson.

The report shows that 64-percent of the 78 breaches this year were caused by malicious cyberattacks.

And the majority of breaches took companies between 300 and 399 days to identify and secure information.

That means hackers can sell your information long before you know about the theft.

“All bets are off, they can move very, very quickly to compromise your personal information,” said Ferguson.

You can go to the Attorney General’s website and find companies that have reported data breaches.

There are interesting cases like that of Avanti Markets. The small snack food kiosks had a data breach of credit card numbers, expiration dates and CVV numbers in July.  It impacted just 1600 customers, but since Avanti’s system doesn’t keep customers names, they couldn’t notify them.

Companies who suffer a data breach that affects more than 500 Washington consumers must report it to the Attorney General’s Office in 45 days. Ferguson may go to the legislature to cut that time down to 30 days.

All of the companies mentioned in this report have repaired and secured their data systems.

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