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Big Data Hacks Expose Personal Information of North Carolinians

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Pixabay Creative Commons
Two major data breaches in North Carolina have come to light in the past week.

Two major data breaches in North Carolina have come to light in the past week. 

On Tuesday, Dec. 5, Mecklenburg County revealed hackers broke into 48 county servers and encrypted data, effectively freezing that information. According to county manager Dena Diorio, hackers demanded two bitcoin, which is equivalent to approximately $23,000 dollars to de-encrypt and release the files.

Also on Dec. 5, a Duke Energy spokesperson revealed that it, too, had been hacked through a payment processor called TIO Networks. More than 370,000 Duke Energy customers who pay their utility bills in cash or check may have been affected.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with David Levine, professor of law at Elon University and a scholar with the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, about the responsibilities of government and corporations to protect data. They also discuss how bitcoin and cryptocurrency facilitate ransomware attacks like the one in Mecklenburg County. 

Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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