State auditor’s office clashes with file transfer service provider after breach

The Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. (Pastajosh, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Malicious actors last Dec. 25 stole millions of unemployment applicants’ data from the Washington State Auditor’s Office (SAO) via a zero-day vulnerability in a 20-year-old file transfer service from Accellion, Inc. The incident and its aftermath serve as an example of the discord and miscommunications that can transpire between a third-party software provider and its users when something goes wrong.

The attack also demonstrates not only the critical importance of securing sensitive data on the move, but also the potential risks of using legacy applications that are nearing end of life.

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