Posted On February 16, 2022 Consumer Privacy & Data Breaches
February 16, 2022 – Recently, the government of Linn County, Oregon announced it was the victim of a cyberattack stemming from the installation of ransomware on the county’s computer network. As a result of the attack, the county government chose to take down several websites temporarily. While the extent of this data security incident is still under investigation, those impacted by a data breach should be sure they understand what happened, what their rights are, and how they can pursue them. The data breach lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. are actively investigating this security breach. If an investigation reveals that Linn County failed to ensure the safety of consumer data leading up to the breach, the local government may be liable through a data breach class action lawsuit.
Cyberattacks such as this one are increasingly common in today’s society. Today more than ever, businesses and government entities store data electronically. While there are certainly many ways to protect against cyberthreats, hackers have ways of identifying vulnerabilities in data security systems, which they can then exploit.
When a hacker breaches a computer system, they can steal sensitive consumer information from the compromised systems. While there is no guarantee that this information will be used for criminal purposes, that is not an uncommon occurrence. Thus, as a matter of course, after an organization experiences a data breach, they will inform anyone whose information was compromised. Despite the risks data breaches present, many consumers fail to take precautionary measures to protect themselves from identity theft and other frauds.
When you allowed Linn County access to your personal data, you trusted the government to keep your sensitive information safe. However, news of the Linn County data breach raises some very serious questions about the entity’s data security measures and whether the county could have done more to prevent this type of cyber-attack.
Local government entities have a legal obligation to protect consumer information in their possession. Although creating and maintaining a data security system is costly, this is a necessary expense given the frequency with which cyberattacks occur.
Consumers whose personal, identifying, financial or healthcare-related data was compromised in a data breach can pursue legal action against an organization that misused or mishandled their information. However, the investigation into the Linn County breach is only in its beginning phases. For that reason, it is too early to tell if Linn County was legally responsible for the breach. However, our data breach attorneys are investigating the Linn County security breach to determine the potential legal remedies of those affected.
If you have questions about your ability to pursue a data breach class action lawsuit against Linn County, contact a data breach attorney as soon as possible.
If you receive a data breach notification from Linn County in the coming weeks, it means your personal data was among that which was compromised in the recent cyberattack. It also means a cybercriminal had access to—and may have stolen—your personal data. Given the risks involved, it is important you remain vigilant by taking the following steps:
According to a statement made by a Linn County representative, the local county government first discovered the incident around 6 a.m. on January 24, 2022. The details of the cyberattack have not yet been released; however, the county confirmed that due to the ransomware attack, it chose to temporarily take down the city’s main web page as well as the Linn County Clerk’s website. A representative confirmed that the Linn County Health Department’s website was not affected by the cyberattack.
In response, the City of Albany, which shares some computers with the county government, disconnected all devices from the county’s network. It remains to be seen whether the data security incident resulted in any consumer or public employee information being compromised.
At Console & Associates, P.C., our consumer privacy lawyers monitor all security and data breaches to help affected consumers pursue their legal remedies. We offer free consultations to victims of data breaches and can explain your rights in clear, understandable terms so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case. If you’ve been affected by the Linn County data breach or any other data security incident, Console & Associates, P.C., will investigate your case at no charge and offer you thorough advice about how to most effectively proceed with your case. If you decide to bring a case, we only get paid if you do. If your claim is successful, any legal fees are either paid by the defendant or come out of the funds recovered from the defendant. If your claim doesn’t result in a recovery, you will pay nothing.