Florida concealed weapons permit holders exposed in computer hack
More than 16,000 concealed weapons permit holders in Florida may have had their names accidentally made public because of a data breach at the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The agency released a statement saying concealed weapons licensees who renewed online may have had their names accessed, and 469 other customers were notified that their Social Security numbers may have been hacked as part of the breach.
“Other information possibly accessed per the data breach is all public information and poses no risk of identity theft,” the agency said. “The breach occurred through the online payment system, although the hackers were unsuccessful in obtaining any financial information. The department takes cybersecurity seriously and acted quickly to mitigate the effects of this breach. The privacy of the department’s customers is a top priority and will remain so.”
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who's running for governor in 2018, has ordered a comprehensive review of the department’s cybersecurity measures. The 16,000 concealed weapons permit holders represent less than 1 percent of the total number of concealed weapons licensees. Permit holders who may have been affected by the data breach are being instructed to call 800-350-1119 for more information. Putnam's office emphasized that the data breach did not involve any transactions that took place in a county tax collector's office. Tax collectors accept concealed weapons license applications.