STATEMENT: Millions of Americans’ personal information hacked

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PORTLAND, Ore. – Residents of Oregon and Louisiana may have had their driver’s license and Social Security numbers compromised in a hack that has affected 3.5 million Oregonians and potentially 3 million Louisianans. 

While state officials have yet to identify who’s behind the security breach, federal officials have pointed to a larger hacking campaign that has affected companies and agencies around the world, including British Airways and the U.S. Department of Energy. A Russian ransomware hacking group has claimed credit for the larger effort. 

The hackers targeted the motor vehicle departments of Oregon and Louisiana, possibly exploiting flaws in software that the agencies use.

In response to the breach, OSPIRG State Director Charlie Fisher said:

“Consumers here in Oregon and in Louisiana should take immediate steps to ensure they don’t become the victims of identity theft and fraud. Whenever Social Security numbers are exposed during hacks or breaches, it’s important to go on defense ASAP.

Data breaches and hacks have become incredibly common. By now, we should all assume that much of our data is in the hands of scammers and take precautions such as freezing our credit files.”

PIRG’s Don’t Sell My Data Campaign Director R.J. Cross added:

“All of us have personal data in the databases of tons of companies and government agencies. When they retain that information digitally, it becomes vulnerable to hacks, breaches and leaks. It’s critical that any software company providing data storage services and any organization holding our information take constant measures to protect our data.”


Data breaches often lead to fraud/ identity theft, which is the No. 1 complaint to the Federal Trade Commission. See our tips guide: 22 ways to protect yourself from fraud, identity theft and headaches