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A new Geico breach means hackers might have your driver’s license number

It is believed the driver’s license numbers could be used for unemployment fraud.

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If you get your auto insurance from Geico, your driver’s license number might have been part of a recent data breach. First spotted by TechCrunch, the breach notice was filed with the Californian Attorney General’s Office, a requirement under state law.

That doesn’t mean that you’re safe if you live in another state, however. California has one of the strictest data protection laws in the country, with any incident involving more than 500 of the state’s residents requiring a breach notice to be filed. That means at least 500 Californian’s have had their license details scraped in this breach, but the actual number could be a much, much bigger number given Geico’s size.

The breach notice covers a period from January 21 to March 1 of this year, where Geico says “fraudsters used information about you – which they acquired elsewhere – to obtain unauthorized access to your driver’s license number through the online sales system on our website.” The insurer reckons it was done to apply for things like unemployment benefits, although it can’t be sure that any license numbers have been used in this way.

Large-scale data breaches in the past have put most of our data online somewhere, but driver’s license numbers are often behind more security so don’t get breached often. It seems that a design flaw in Geico’s own systems was at fault here, with the fraudsters stuffing data from previous breaches or public sources to trick the computers into returning driver’s license numbers.

If you’ve noticed any official letters talking about unemployment benefits that you know weren’t filed by you, contact your state’s unemployment agency/department to let them know the claim is fraudulent.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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