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Florida DEO Warns Unemployment Website Targeted By Cyberattack

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity, which runs the state's unemployment benefits website, has confirmed a cyberattack.

According to the Florida DEO, the Department learned of data security incident on July 16, involving potentially fraudulent activity connected to claimant accounts within the Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System, commonly known as CONNECT.

The department states "malicious actors" may have stolen personal information, such as social security numbers, driver's license numbers, bank account numbers, claim information, and other personal details, such as addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth. In addition, the hackers may have acquired the account PIN that claimants use to access their CONNECT account.

The agency said the breach impacted 57,920 claimant accounts between April 27, 2021, and July 16, 2021. There is no evidence of any other unauthorized access and no indication of related malicious activity on the Department's internal networks.

In response, the Department has:

  • Locked accounts targeted by this activity
  • Improved PIN security controls
  • Enhanced network security controls
  • Notified impacted claimants
  • Notified the Department of Legal Affairs, Department of Management Services, including the Division of State Technology, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement
  • Reported impacted accounts to the three U.S. credit reporting agencies
  • Purchased a year's subscription of identity protection services for affected claimants.

The Department is recommending impacted claimants monitor their financial accounts, and if they see any unauthorized activity, they should promptly contact their financial institution. Claimants may contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by calling 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338) or online at

The Department is also recommending claimants to contact the three U.S. credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) to obtain a free credit report from each by calling 1-877-322-8228 or by logging onto

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