Cyberattack on TN unemployment system continues to cause problems

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 5:36 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Tennessee unemployment system outage that’s keeping around 12,000 people from getting their benefit payments this week was caused by a cyberattack, according to a press release from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD).

The outage started on Sunday and impacts the Jobs4TN system that allows the state to process unemployment claims, send benefit payments and post job opportunities.

Contractor Geographic Solutions run the Tennessee system. According to state records, the company is getting paid $57 million to run the unemployment system on a ten-year contract.

Geographic Solutions operates unemployment systems for 35 other states and territories, TDLWD said. This outage has impacted all states served by the company.

The cyberattack was noticed on Sunday morning and led Geographic Solutions to take down the Jobs4TN website to stop the hacker’s activity, the company said in a statement. The attack also knocked the backup computer system offline.

“With the help of third-party specialists, we are conducting a full investigation to determine the cause and scope of the incident,” Geographic Solutions President Paul Toomey said. “That investigation is still ongoing, and we are taking steps to help prevent this from happening again. Our current focus is working around the clock to bring Jobs4TN back online. We anticipate that this will occur before the July 4th holiday.”

Geographic Solutions said it appears at this time that no personal data was accessed or taken. However, the company continues to evaluate the cyberattack and will update TDLWD as more information becomes available.

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