The ministry says it still doesn’t know when its website will be fully operational.
SILVERDALE, Wash. — Nearly a month after the Licensing Department announced a breach exposing the personal information of more than half a million people, many of those affected are still searching for answers.
Iris Miranda moved to Washington to pursue her career as a solicitor, but delays due to hacking made her fear her career was over.
“It could ruin my reputation, my credit, everything,” she said.
On January 13, Miranda sent her notary license application to the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL). Having received no response, she went to the ministry’s website and found a notice that the system was down.
When she contacted the DOL, she got no response.
“That’s when I got worried,” she said. “I was wondering if I had submitted all this information to a fake website? »
It turns out that Miranda is one of approximately 650,000 people whose personal information, including social security and driver’s license numbers, was compromised after the DOL database was hacked.
Without a professional license, Miranda cannot work. It’s been over a month, but that’s not his biggest concern.
“I can always perform other functions, I can always find another job, but what about my identity? ” she asked.
The DOL has found a way to allow people to renew their licenses offline – by manually filling out and submitting a form which can be found on the DOL website.
The department is in the process of approving renewal applications, but expects to begin processing new license applications by next week, according to DOL spokesman Nathan Olson.
Miranda’s new candidacy was finally approved on Thursday.
“The level of frustration is there for us,” DOL spokesman Nathan Olson said.
Olson clarified that the hack only affects professional licenses, not driver’s or boating licenses. He also noted that the department shut down its systems as soon as it confirmed there had been a hack.
“We are investigating why this may have happened and trying to fix what we can to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
He conceded, however, that the ministry does not know when the system will be operating at full capacity again.
The DOL plans to provide affected individuals with one year of free credit monitoring, according to Olson.
For now, Miranda wonders about all the others who can’t get new licenses, like real estate brokers, hairdressers and architects.