Possible data breach on Arkansas pandemic unemployment website

Coronavirus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that an unemployment website centered around the pandemic may have experienced a data breach.

The possible breach occurred last night when an applicant got illegal access to the system according to Hutchinson. The breach resulted in the website temporarily being taken down.

A team of experts is accessing how the breach occurred and the damage that possibly may have been done. If it is determined that the person who accessed the system gleaned a significant amount of information, those who may be affected will be further notified and monitored.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance system helps independent contractors, gig workers, business owners who are self-employed who don’t usually qualify for regular state unemployment benefits.

Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said the system was created with the help of a third party and they are working with forensics to make sure it is good shape before it’s back online.

“We are building the system as we go in a very fast manner to get payments out. We are testing it along the way and this is one of the things that came up and was tested from the outside and we realized that it needs to be corrected,” said Preston.

Staffers are working through the weekend to continue to process applications they have received to get people their benefits as soon as possible.

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