AUGUSTA, Maine (AP, NEWS CENTER) - Maine officials say they're notifying some 2,100 people of an incident that might have caused their personal information to be temporarily exposed.
The Maine Office of Information Technology says the potential breach happened on Sept. 21 as part of a system upgrade. The office says a contractor posted information from a Maine Department of Health and Human Services child welfare database to a third-party website not within the state system. David Heidrich, a spokesperson for Maine OIT, says the website was similar to a "FileDif" or "Dropbox."
The office says the file included names, addresses and Social Security numbers of people who receive foster care benefits. It also had names of children and legal guardians of people in the program. The information was public for four-and-a-half hours.
"It's comparable to having a file folder in your possession, whether it be a manila file folder or something of that nature, and leaving it in a publicly accessible area like a cafeteria," said Heidrich. The office determined that the information was only accessed one time while it was public online.
Chief Information Officer Jim Smith says the information was removed from the site. The office is offering a year of credit and identity monitoring to affected people.