TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is warning customers that hackers may have obtained the names of more than 16,000 people who have Florida concealed weapon permits.
The data breach that appears to have originated from overseas affects people who entered information through the department's online payment system.
The Social Security numbers of nearly 500 concealed weapon users were obtained during the breach. The department says it has contacted those customers and is offering them free credit protection for one year.
The Social Security numbers that may have been obtained had been entered in an online field where either a Social Security number or Federal Employer Identification Number could be entered.
In 2009, the department began only to request a FEIN in this field and stopped the prior practice of requesting either a Social Security number or FEIN.
Additionally, names of 16,190 concealed weapon licensees, which is less than one percent of total number of concealed weapon licensees, may also have been obtained. However, no other individual identifying information of the concealed weapon license holders was compromised.
Only concealed weapon licensees who renewed online may have had their names accessed.
Commissioner Adam Putnam has ordered a comprehensive review of the department's cybersecurity measures, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is assisting the department with its active investigation.
Individuals who have concerns regarding their personal information should take the following steps: