Vermont cybersecurity chief: Data breaches are here to stay

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Vermont’s chief cybersecurity expert says computer hacks like the one that exposed personal data of more than 100 million Capital One customers should be considered a routine threat.

“Cyber security it’s going to be an integral part of every part of our lives now, whether we realize it or not,” said Nick Anderson, Vermont’s chief information security officer said.

A 33-year-old former Amazon software engineer is accused of orchestrating the Capital One cyberattack, which exposed information from more than 100 million Capital One credit applications, including roughly 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers.

Anderson said the suspect, a well-known Seattle hacker named Paige Thompson, was able to gather names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses, dates of birth and self-reported income  in seconds.

“There was one misconfiguration that allowed this person to go into what they call a fire wall and extract all that information,” he said.

Vermont Attorney General Office TJ Donovan said his office is monitoring the situation and gathering facts.

He said the hack should remind consumers that they need to closely monitor their credit accounts.

“It should be as natural as brushing your teeth. You gotta do it every day, said Donovan.” You gotta be aware because we are seeing more and more scams and we need to educate people to defend themselves.”

However, there are steps you can take before and after breaches occur. Experts say you should frequently change your password and always check your credit. After the breach, you should freeze your credit.

Vermont is currently doing all it can to protect consumers from breaches like this one. 

“We are always working proactively with the community and other stake holders to educate and raise awareness about what we can do to help Vermonters because these things are clearly on the rise, said Donovan.”

Click here for more Vermont information.

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