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DBPR network system falls victim to ‘malicious activity;’ FDLE to investigate

The department has found no evidence to suggest a data breach.

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) fell victim earlier this month to “malicious activity” orchestrated against the department’s data and systems.

In a news release, DBPR said the attack took place on Oct. 7 and that immediate actions were taken to contain the attack and “prevent any compromise.” Subsequently, the responsive security measures caused temporary outages to DPBPR’s online services through Oct. 12.

The department hasn’t found any evidence to suggest a data breach containing any personally identifiable information.

“Risks posed by malicious activity on state-owned technology assets are serious, and the Department 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 this case, the Department has engaged the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for additional support in the investigation and review of these system security matters.”

DBPR is the state agency charged with licensing and regulating businesses and professionals in Florida such as cosmetologists, veterinarians, real estate agents and other occupations.

Presently, the department is operating with system limitations and warned of possible delays in the near future. They added that additional measures were taken to fortify their online safeguards. That effort will require the department to devote more staff resources to continue processing applications and inquiries.

“The Department is committed to achieving a safe and responsible restoration of all system functions swiftly, and upon restoration, will take additional steps to expedite handling of any transactions that have been delayed by this disruption in the operation of certain network systems,” DBPR said in a news release.

All DBPR online services for payments and applications remain available online. The department said customer service agents are available to help those who need assistance regarding department services.

Written By

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at jason@floridapolitics.com or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Sonja Fitch

    October 16, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    Russian hackers practicing to get at the Ballots!

  2. Anonymous

    October 19, 2020 at 9:20 am

    I work for DBPR and just wanted to let you know, we have been experiencing some issues with our online services at times, including payments and applications so you may want to correct that In your article.

  3. C Plogger

    October 22, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    The system is still down today (10/22/20). They are not answering the phones today. New licenses have not been issued for over two weeks. When they have answered the phones we are told that there is nothing they can do and that they “are only in the call center”. Is there no way for them to (at least temporarily) issue licenses the old fashioned way? Allowing people to earn a living should be top-priority for the DBPR. This needs to be investigated.

  4. CG

    October 23, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    I agree with you completely. It is so frustrating. I completed and passed my state exam a couple weeks ago and was told I would have my license in a couple days and still have not received my license 2 weeks later. I had customers lined up and am now loosing business and money because I cannot work without my license. Of course the DBPR online portal for payments is working but nothing else. They can collect money but not help people make money. I wish they could at least provide us a timeline in when we can realistically expect to revive our licenses. The call center is not helpful and they only tell me to keep waiting.

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