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State Says No Data Stolen In Unemployment System Hack

Unemployment office in Kentucky.
Becca Schimmel
An unemployment office in Kentucky back in April 2020. The state's unemployment rate in April 2022 is at a record low.

Kentucky state officials said no data was stolen during a breach of the unemployment insurance system this week.

Amy Cubbage, general counsel with the Kentucky unemployment office, said at Thursday’s state coronavirus briefing that the breach happened Wednesday morning. The Commonwealth Office of Technology responded by implementing safeguards during the login process.

“The good news is that our Commonwealth Office of Technology and our office of unemployment recognized the issue, and they were able to prevent any intrusion into the system,” Cubbage said. “They are monitoring closely for any additional attempts, but they did stellar work in protecting our UI system from the breach. No UI user’s data was stolen.”

The system was only down for about an hour. Claimants will now be required to answer questions correctly to access the site. The unemployment system has been attacked several times during the pandemic, including at least three times that went unreported.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 1,447 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. He said this week’s case total is on track to be slightly more than last week.

But he attributed the variation to recent decreases in testing due to wintry weather. Last Wednesday, 9,600 Kentuckians were tested, but that figure rose to 14,000 yesterday.

“But for the weather, we’d see a continued, steady downward trend,” Beshear said.

Though cases have decreased in recent weeks, daily death tolls have been high this week. Beshear reported 43 new deaths Thursday, one day after reporting 51. Until Wednesday, deaths hovered around 20 for several days.

Hospitalizations dropped to 843 on Thursday, and the positivity rate dipped to 5.67%.

“We want to see that continue to drop,” Beshear said. “That’s the leading indicator, as opposed to the lagging indicator which is cases, that tell us that we have had a natural downward progress.”

The governor announced 119 new vaccination sites, including seven new regional locations. There are now 410 vaccination sites across the state.

John, News Editor for LPM, is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Email John at jboyle@lpm.org.

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