Data for 6,600 Stolen from Oregon Courts

Thursday, state officials disclosed that someone phished several Oregon Judicial Department email accounts, and the personal and financial information of about 6,600 people was compromised – including criminal defendants.

The state will send letters to people that may have had their data compromised. The state will also offer information about accessing credit monitoring, and an insurance policy that will cover up to $1 million in the instance if identity theft.

The Judicial Department has about 1,800 employees that run its 27 circuit courts, the Oregon Supreme Court, and the Oregon Court of Appeals.

What Happened, Exactly

On July 15,  a Washington County Circuit Court employee opened an email thinking it was sent from an attorney known to the employee. The email supposedly required the employee’s user name and password to open a document, and the employee entered both. A judge and three administrative staffers also fell for the ploy.

After nabbing the employees’ user names and passwords, the perpetrator gained access to personal information, including names, birth dates, and some financial account information that were in emailed documents. The documents included rosters of jailed defendants.

The perpetrator has not yet been identified. Since learning of the incident, all court staff have changed their passwords.

By Andy Thompson