Dallas County says 200,000 people affected in data breach

In an update about last year’s cyberattack, Dallas County officials have said that around 200,000 people may have had their personal information compromised.

The cybersecurity incident occurred on October 16th, 2023. Once Dallas County officials detected the breach, cybersecurity professionals were retained to contain the threat and investigate the nature and scope of the attack.

In November, even though the county earlier said that the breach had been successfully contained, someone posted the data supposedly taken from the breached systems on the dark web.

Dallas County said in January that it was reviewing the data to determine its authenticity and identify any personal information contained within the posted files.

The review process took half a year, but now, the officials have finally disclosed what type of information held by Dallas County was stolen during the hack and how many people were affected. It turns out that around 200,000 individuals were impacted.

“This incident primarily involved the following information: name, Social Security number (SSN), date of birth, driver’s license/state identification number, and taxpayer identification number. For some individuals, certain types of medical information (e.g., diagnosis or conditions information) and health insurance information may be involved,” said Dallas County in a statement.

To find out if their information was involved in the incident, people are encouraged to call the county’s dedicated call center. Affected individuals will be provided with two years of complimentary credit monitoring and identity theft protection services.

People are also advised to review their accounts for suspicious activity, order a free credit report, or contact the Federal Trade Commission and law enforcement to report detected incidents of identity theft.

Over 2.6 million people live in Dallas County which is the second-most populous in the US state of Texas and the ninth-most populous county nationwide.

It’s not the first time this particular region has suffered a cyberattack. In May 2023, the Royal ransomware gang hit the City of Dallas with a cyberattack that shut down most city services and knocked the Dallas Police and Fire Rescue departments offline.