The Office of the Washington State Auditor revealed this week that it had experienced a data breach involving a third party service provider.

According to the department, the state Auditor's Office uses Accellion to transmit data files in the state's audits. Accellion reportedly had a security incident in December and announced it in January. The data breach allowed unauthorized access to audit records stored temporarily in Accellion's system during the file transfer process.

Washington State Auditor Pat McCarthy released a statement saying, "This news is unwelcome at any time, but especially during this year of so many stressors. I am truly sorry to share this news, and I am committed to doing everything we can to mitigate the harm caused by this crime."

As many as 1.6 million Washingtonians who filed for unemployment in the previous year may have had their personal information exposed. State and local governmental entities may have also had their information exposed.

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