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DBPR’s Online Services Impacted by ‘Malicious Activity’

Temporary outages started Oct. 7 and DBPR called in law enforcement. New security protocols have started, but personally identifiable info doesn’t appear compromised.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), which oversees real estate licensing among other things, called in law enforcement officials to investigate after an apparent network breach on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

On Friday, DBPR announced that its online services would have limited operations due to “malicious activity on state-owned technology assets.”

According to DBPR Secretary Halsey Beshears, the online network will have limitations as “part of an ongoing effort to ensure the security of all information technology assets.” However, he said that all DBPR Online Services for applications, payments and other licensure transactions are available through www.myfloridalicense.com, and customer support agents will still be available for anyone who needs assistance.

Background

On Wednesday, Oct. 7, DBPR identified instances of “malicious activity on state-owned technology assets.” Its security response then attempted to identify the cause of the problem, measure any potential damage and prevent any additional problems.

Beshears says those steps required temporary outages in the DBPR Online Services from Thursday, Oct. 8, to Monday, Oct. 12. Online options are once again available, but DBPR says it’s taking additional steps this week to enhance the system safeguards that helped identify the problem.

The new security changes have “delayed the availability of some system resources that support certain services and processes performed” by DBPR staff, and the department expects those limitations to continue “until all systems and system functions are cleared for access by users.”

To date, DBPR says it hasn’t found any evidence that personally identifiable information was breached.

“Risks posed by malicious activity on state-owned technology assets are serious, and (DBPR) will continue to work tirelessly with state technology and law enforcement partners to exhaust all available measures in deterring threats directed toward these assets,” the department said in a Friday media release. “In this case, (DBPR) has engaged the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for additional support in the investigation and review of these system security matters.”

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