Hacker Hits License Plate Database

April 29, 2004


CHICAGO (AP) The FBI and secretary of state police were trying to determine how a hacker tapped into as many as 200,000 temporary license plate records in an Illinois secretary of state computer database over the weekend, officials said.

Only the temporary registration permit database was compromised, not the main drivers' license system that includes Social Security numbers, secretary of state spokesman Dave Druker said Wednesday.

"The only thing we think possibly could have occurred was somebody was able to look at records and print copies," Druker said. "We don't know what they viewed."

The hacker is believed to have gotten in after 7:30 a.m. Saturday. State employees in Springfield reported that morning that the system wasn't working, prompting White's office to contact Microsoft and Symantec, a security provider.

It was the first time a secretary of state computer system has been hacked during Jesse White's tenure, Druker said.

The office issues about 1.2 million temporary plates a year. The database includes plate numbers, addresses and vehicle information.

Druker declined to comment on a motive for the attack.

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