Friday, April 7, 2017

ADWS REFUSES TO DIRECTLY NOTIFY CLIENTS ABOUT BREACH



Instead of directly notifying individuals that had their personally identifiable information obtained by yet unknown hackers, the Department of Workforce Services sent a notice to the Arkansas Democrat- Gazette

We previously posted about the data breach in this post in March.

This is unbelievable in that not very many individuals actually read the paper and not all of the individuals that are involved reside in Arkansas anymore and would be likely to read an article buried in printed media.

While Arkansas law gives that as one of the two options available to ADWS, they chose the method that will reach the fewest number of individuals.


Even their placing a notice and link on their webpage is window dressing as not many people access that page.  Especially those that used the Joblink service years ago. http://dws.arkansas.gov/JobSeekers/PDF/NOTICE%20final%20Dem-Gaz.pdf
 

The vendor that operates the service under a contract with ADWS did sent out notices, but ADWS had a responsibility to contact each individual by sending a letter as the email address used by the individual may no longer be active or in use.





Shame on ADWS for failing to do the right thing and protect Arkansas citizens when their data security measures failed and they didn't purge their system of personally identifiable information after a fixed period of time.

 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

DWS DISCOVERS VIRUS IN SYSTEM AND FAILS TO FOLLOW LAW TO PROVIDE REQUIRED NOTIFICATIONS

ADWS SPOKESMAN STEVE GUNTHARP RULES OUT HACKING AND PLACES BLAME ON AN ADWS CLIENT FOR PUTTING VIRUS IN ARKANSAS JOBLINK SYSTEM
  
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette published a story last week that revealed that the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services discovered a virus in a database contains personally identifiable information of an estimated 19,000 Arkansas citizens that were seeking employment.

ADWS spokesmans Steve Guntharp stated that it was not immediately clear if the virus had extracted personal information before it was detected.

Gunthrap blamed a user for placing the virus in the Arkansas JobLink system. 

"The only thing we know is somebody entered their information in and somehow got that [virus] into the system," Guntharp said. "We are working right now on trying to determine what the extent of the breach was."

The breach was discovered by a contractor that maintains the database for ADWS.

Ark. Code. Ann. § 4-110-105 requires ADWS to notify any resident of Arkansas whose unencrypted personal information was or is reasonably believed to have been acquired by an unauthorized individual by a breach of their system.



Guntharp stated that the information dates back to 2001, but not to worry because accounts are deactivated after 90 days. 

But the information remains in that system indefinitely Guntharp reluctantly admitted.

A reasonable person would question why the heck ADWS would maintain personally identifiable information about individuals, individuals that cannot access or remove the information after 90 days, on such unsecured servers.

The personally identifiable information that could have or was obtained by hackers and criminals can be used in a variety ways.

In fact the same day that the  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ran a story about the ADWS breach, they also ran a story about lady in Arkansas that admitted to 
defrauding the government out of $262,691 in SNAP benefits from multiple states,  by using other individuals Social Security numbers, etc. (like the information in the Arkansas Joblink database that was breached) to make on-line applications for benefits.

Such information could also be used to open accounts, obtain credit cards, and many other things.

If you used the Arkansas Joblink system anytime since 2001, call Guntharp at 501-837-8700, and ask him why his agency kept your information and if they are going to provide credit monitoring services.



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

DWS SUPPLY TRUCK CAUGHT SPEEDING ON INTERSTATE



On November 5, 2013 at approximately 3:30 p.m., on I-40 West near North Little Rock a truck with State of Arkansas tags was clocked by a citizen going 80 mph.

They made a complaint about lead-footed state employee.











Records obtained from the Department of Workforce Services reveal that the driver of the 2012 Ford Truck was driven by Thomas Jewel Morris.

Morris no longer works for DWS but is still working for the state at the Arkansas Department of Health as a maintenance technician.




Morris was in a hurry to get back from delivering supplies to the DWS office in Helena.

How dumb to you have to be to speed in a clearly marked state vehicle???

Why not call Tommy at the ADH and ask him: 501-661-2732.

**********

Employees entrusted to operate a state-owned vehicle on the streets and highways of Arkansas are representatives of the State. Failure of the state employee to observe safe driving habits and the rules of the road reflects poorly on State government.

VEHICLE COMPLAINT DEALS WITH AN ICE CREAM DATE

An Arkansas citizen observed a Department of Workforce Services at the Cold Stone Creamery in Texarkana, TX back on Monday, July 31, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

The observant citizen saw a man and woman go inside, then come out some 20 minutes later.




As the vehicle license plate clearly states "Official Business Only" and a red state seal with the same wording is on both front doors, the taxpayer was concerned about misuse of a state vehicle and filed an online complaint.

According to records obtained from the Department of Workforce Services the vehicle had been checked out by Edward Millican, a training instructor.



Millican is no longer working for the state of Arkansas.  He moved to Bivins, Texas and is now a mailman.

MILLICAN 

Who was with Millican that evening at Cold Stone Creamery? 

Did he wife tag along with him while he was on "official business"?

Did he make a love connection while in the twin cities?

We say good riddance to Millican as we don't need state employees using state vehicles for personal use.

Monday, April 11, 2016

LOOK FOR MORE STORIES SOON

These are some of the other complaints about DWS employees misusing state vehicles that were are in the process of investigating.  

Look for more stories to be posted in the days ahead.









Thursday, March 24, 2016

ANOTHER DWS EMPLOYEE CAUGHT SHOPPING AT SAVERS




On March 8, 2016 another DWS van was spotted at the Savers store on Bowman Road in Little Rock.

The driver Glenn B. Sergeant, Sr. was seen walking to and opening the van door. As he was unlocking the door he was asked what official business he was conducting at Saver.  He refused to answer and quickly got into the vehicle.




Sergeant is a workforce investment regulation advisor.





We spoke with the Savers store manager and asked if anyone there had a meeting with anyone from DWS we were told no.  A check with store employees revealed that no one meet with or spoke to anyone from DWS.




When we asked the Department of Workforce Services what official business Sergeant was conducting at Savers, we were told that there were no records or other information to provide information as to why Sergeant was at Savers.

The reason for that response is that Sergeant was not there on official business, he was goofing off and shopping at Savers.

State vehicles are only to be used for official business.




Sergeants personal use of the state vehicle violated the Arkansas state government policy regarding vehicle use and the Governor's Executive Order 10:14.

Personal use of a state vehicle can subject the employee to taxable use of a state vehicle as stated in the State of Arkansas Vehicle Use and Management Handbook, page 20, 15.0 Taxable use of a state vehicle.


Sergeant, by using the vehicle for personal use (shopping) damages the reputation of state employees and undermines the public trust in public employees and state government.


Monday, August 24, 2015

DWS WORKERS VIOLATE STATE POLICIES REGARDING PERSONAL USE OF STATE VEHICLES - GIVE BOGUS EXCUSE THEY NEEDED TO GO POTTY




On July 14, 2015 at approximately 2:50 p.m., three Department of Workforce Services employees violated the Arkansas state government policy regarding vehicle use and the Governor's Executive Order 10:14 when they went shopping at Savers on Bowman Road in Little Rock after eating lunch.



State vehicles are to be used for official business only.



Personal use of a state vehicle can subject the employee to taxable use of a state vehicle as stated in the State of Arkansas Vehicle Use and Management Handbook, page 20, 15.0 Taxable use of a state vehicle.

CLICK TO VIEW STATE VEHICLE POLICY


The state van was clearly occupied by three individuals as their to-go-cups were easily observed as were some shopping bags.

FRONT SEAT - DRIVER SIDE


FRONT SEAT - PASSENGER SIDE

BACK SEAT - DRIVER SIDE

BACK SEAT - PASSENGER SIDE


We spoke with the Savers store manager and asked if anyone there had a meeting with anyone from DWS we were told no.  A check with store employees revealed that no one meet with or spoke to anyone from DWS.

According to records obtained from the Department of Finance & Administration and Department of Workforce Services the van occupants stated that they only stopped at Savers to use the restroom. Yeah right. DWS refused to provide the official use, reason or function for which the van was checked out.  Maybe the restroom at the DWS office was out of order and the three had to drive around LIttle Rock for several hours to find a clean restroom to use.


The vehicle was checked out at 10:00 a.m. and returned at 3:40 p.m. (about 40 minutes after they shopped, uhhh.. peed/pooped at Savers).

Who was in the van?  According to the records made available to us, the vehicle was occupied by Stephanie L. Bennett and Brandy M. Abernathy-Barnes and other individual with the last name Allen.

BENNETT SNAPS A SELFIE AT WORK
Bennett is a workforce services specialist, who is not afraid to make her position clear.







Abernathy-Barnes is also a workforce services specialist.




While it would be permissible for a state employee to stop and eat lunch while traveling from one town to another on official business, going shopping and using the vehicle for personal use (shopping) damages the reputation of state employees and undermines the public trust in public employees and state government.