Monterey County computer hacked

October 16, 2013

hackA Monterey County Department of Social Services computer was hacked by an overseas computer in March. However, those whose personal information was compromised were not informed until last week. [Herald]

Personal information such as Social Security numbers, birth dates and in some cases addresses was stored on the computer for 144,493 people who received CalFresh, MediCal, CalWorks and foster care payments through the county between 2002 and 2009.

“We deeply regret that this incident occurred and are disappointed that hackers would break into a computer system needed to serve those most in need,” Robinson said in a statement. “We take the privacy of people who come to us for assistance very seriously and have worked with state network administrators to assure that the method of attack used to break into this computer can’t be used again. Additionally, this computer was immediately taken off-line and care was taken to assure all other social services computers were behind firewalls.”


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Having your personal information in the cloud is like having the honor system for self-serve cash registers. Remember when voting on the internet was disallowed because it was not secure. So much for protecting your personal information, we need to go back to hard copies and integrity in the work place.

Saying your computer was hacked has become the 21st century equivalent of “My dog ate my homework”. Remember Antony Wiener (sic) tried to use it to explain inappropriate tweets? Now, one of the Florida teens recently arrested for cyber bullying that led to another teen’s suicide is using it.

However, just like the Hungry Dog alibi, it should not relieve you of responsibility.

It is 98% sure that the county worker was using their work computer for personal, non work related use – leading to the compromise.

It is 99% sure that the IT department was not doing their job.

It is 100% sure that county management was not doing their job.

It is 200% sure that county residents will foot the bill for these people not doing their jobs.

It is 300% sure that this will not improve, but will get worse.

“We’ve addressed this one of many holes in our inept network security on this one computer. We’re also disappointed the hackers got needy people’s identification and nor rich people. Shame on the immoral hackers (but not us for being inept and for hiding the breach).”

Could this bureaucrat possibly take any LESS responsibility?

He could just retire early with full pension and benefits… provided he’s the ripe old age of 48 or so.

Did the Dept of Social Services of Monterey County have Data Breach coverage?

This is the kind of thing that warrants that coverage. If you have to maintain sensitive info in your computer system for your business, you might want to check into Data Breach /Cyber Security Coverage. You are responsible as the custodian of such info.

Given the amount of salaries and benefits paid by the taxpayers I would instead just hire people smart enough to keep all computers behind firewalls, and maintain security and inform those compromised immediately about their data theft

Like the $90+ million that was paid to get up and running? Maybe they rushed them, I mean, three years is not that much time to get a website and back-end up and running…

The Oceano Community Services District computer was “hacked” in December 2011 according to then GM, Geaslen. He said his home computer had been hacked too. Sheriff’s were called, investigations took place, but no damage was done, so “no harm, no foul” except all our tax dollars spent investigating a crime that didn’t happen.

He just didn’t want to write the letter the board had directed him to write, the one that Guerrero jumped in and wrote himself.

That should have been an early sign to the OCSD board that Geaslen was a shady sh*t.