Greensboro, NC-- On September 9, 2011, Guilford County was notified of a Data Security Breach involving Tax Department files containing personal information accessible through the web.
In a statement on its website Guiford County officials said: Data files of citizens for whom the Tax Department sought a garnishment or attachment between December 2010 and the date of discovery on September 9, 2011, was mistakenly linked to the web.
The files contained taxpayer social security numbers, names and address. Upon further investigation it was discovered that images of checks (which include names, addresses and bank account information) submitted to the Tax Department between July of 2010 and December of 2010, may have also been vulnerable; however, it is believed that these imaged records were not accessible to every day web browsers and would have been very difficult to access.
They also stressed that not all taxpayers' information was breached. The county issued this apology for the mistake, "We sincerely regret the inconvenience this may have caused to our citizens. Guilford County is concentrating all of its efforts into resolving this issue and ensuring that this type of information is not compromised again. Within thirty (30) minutes of receiving notice of the breach on Friday, September 9, 2011, the files that were exposed were made private and web access was removed. The County contacted internet search engines and has been working aggressively with them to have information removed from web searches. Removal was completed by 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 13, 2011. Taxpayers for whom the County was seeking a garnishment or attachment will receive written notice of the breach. An information Help-line has been established to answer citizen's questions and concerns. (336-641-2698) The County is investigating the cause of the breach and is reviewing existing safeguards and practices to enhance security of sensitive information".
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WFMY News 2/Guilford County