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NC Proposal Takes Aim At Recent Cyber Attacks

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A Republican state lawmaker is teaming up with North Carolina's Democratic Attorney General to work on legislation to prevent data breaches. Rep. Jason Saine of Lincoln County and Attorney General Josh Stein announced on Monday details of the draft legislation, which comes after a spike in cyber attacks last year. 

Saine said the bill would require companies who are hacked to notify consumers more quickly. Uber recently acknowledged a massive data breach a year after it happened.

"That is certainly not a reasonable time frame to let someone know that their information has been breached," Saine said. "We've looked at practices all across the United States and what different states are doing, and we'll certainly combine that into the bill."

Mecklenburg County was the victim of a ransomware attack last month. Hackers demanded $23,000 in bitcoin to release the county's data. Mecklenburg officials had backups of the information and did not pay. Meanwhile, Duke Energy recently announced a potential breach of more than 300,000 customers' billing information.

Stein said scams and cyber attacks spiked in 2017.

"Last year in North Carolina, there were over 1,000 breaches - 1,022 - which is an increase of 15 percent from 2016. That affected 5.3 million North Carolinians," he said.
The draft bill would also make it easier for consumers to get credit reports, and freeze their credit if their information has been compromised.
Saine said he plans to introduce the bill during the General Assembly's short session, which convenes in the spring.

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
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