Trojan Virus Breaches Alaska Department of Health and Social Services

2019, Breaches, January

Who: The State of Alaska

# of Accounts Breached: 87,000

What was affected: Names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, health information, benefits information and other types of related information

When it happened: April 26 to April 30, 2018

How it happened: The incident began with an infected computer from which an applicant emailed a request for assistance to a state worker. Emails sent to the division routinely contain documentation for requests, and a file attached to the message carried what DHSS called a “Zeus/Zbot Trojan virus” in June, leading to the breach. The virus was particularly active and had access to the laptop’s hard drive, according to O’Brien, because it was a “Day One” attack unleashed before security researchers had identified the virus and adapted state computers’ antivirus programs to stop it.

Outcome: State officials are changing security procedures in the wake of the breach, and the FBI is still investigating the case.