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Kentuckians Are Just Now Learning About An April Breach In The Unemployment System


Changes are underway in the state's unemployment office after a reported vulnerability surfaced in the online application portal in April.

Thursday, officials revealed that a reported issue with the unemployment portal on April 23rd allowed some applicants to view sensitive ID information about other claimants.

Josh Benton with the Workforce Development Cabinet said the state does not have any indication that hackers or outside groups had access to the claims and a security patch was in place later that day, but anyone whose data was potentially exposed will be notified.

"We'll be sending information to this directly with instructions on checking their credit report and on reporting potential identity theft," Benton explained. "This is obviously something that IT systems are susceptible to, it's nothing that we take lightly, and we continue to mointor the security of the system at a high priority on a daily basis."

While Gov. Andy Beshear thanked Benton's team for the speed with which it reacted internally, he said he's "not satisfied" with the time it took to provide public notice.

To that end, the governor is moving the unemployment office, which has dealt with a record volume of claims during the COVID-19 outbreak, from the state's Education and Workforce Cabinet to the Labor Cabinet. The switch, Beshear said, will allow for more resources, personnel, and "additional leadership" to direct and handle claims.

"While there is no indication that anyone has been or will be financially harmed, I do beleive it took way too long," Beshear told reporters.

Despite a dramatic scaling up of the unemployment office, roughly 10,000 March claims and 30,000 April claims remain to be processed, even as the state moves to reopen sectors of the economy. Officials have pointed to the complicated nature of some of the claims and federal red tape as reasons for the backlog.

Other news:

  • The state reported 113 new cases and 9 new deaths linked to the coronavirus Thursday, continuing an overall  downward trend in the numbers.
  • Kentucky Kingdom has been cleared for a phased reopening starting June 29th and all state parks will be slated to reopen on June 1st.
  • The governor clarified that his executive order barring evictions will not expire on June 1st.
  • Every Kentucky county will have at least one in-person polling place during the upcoming primary elections, likely staffed by plain-clothes national guard members.
  • Beshear says he supports Louisville metro council examining the “flaws” in no-knock warrants, following the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.
Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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