Ransomware attack on California Department of Motor Vehicles


A Ransomware attack on California DMV- Department of Motor Vehicles is reported to have leaked data related to millions of customers. To be specific, the attack took place on the third party supplier called Automatic Funds Transfer services (AFS) a service that looks into the verification process of motor registration addresses related to the motor department of California.

As of now, no information related to the department is said to have accessed by the customers. But there is no conformation yet from the DMV, as the investigation is still under process.

However, unconfirmed sources say that the third party that was targeted was hit by a ransomware spreading gang that involves in double extortion and is said to have stolen data of millions of customers going back to over the past twenty months. The server that was targeted used to store details of customers such as names, addresses, license plate numbers, vehicle identification numbers and such.

AFTS is reported to be dealing with over 37 million records involving transport vehicles related to road and sea like boats and cruises, and so the data breach could have yielded the hackers a large trove of data.

An official statement released by AFTS said that the investigation is under progress related to ransomware attack and it has cleared the air that it doesn’t store sensitive details such as social security numbers, vote IDs, birth dates, immigration status on its servers and so there is no way that the threat actors could have gained access to such info. Therefore, the chances of identity theft are low or almost zero.

California DMV’s own database is secure enough and is up for access for normal users after a brief disruption for an hour yesterday.

FBI and other law enforcement agencies have been notified about the incident and the agency has already taken enough Cybersecurity measures to avoid such incidents in near future.

Note- Based in Sacramento, the California Department of Motor Vehicles is supposed to be the governing authority for motor vehicle registrations such as boats, private and public vehicles, and all commercial cargo vehicles operating in the state. It also issues license plates and driving licenses along with identification cards to those on request.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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