The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) faces a proposed class action over a September 2023 cyberattack that reportedly affected the private data of approximately 62,000 individuals.
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According to the 53-page lawsuit, after the Washington, D.C.-based labor union detected suspicious activity on its network, a subsequent investigation revealed that an unauthorized third party gained access to the system on September 9 and may have acquired certain data belonging to current and former members. The personal information exposed in the data breach included individuals’ names and Social Security numbers, the suit relays.
The case contends that the sensitive information, which SMART allegedly stored unencrypted and in a “reckless manner,” was compromised because of the union’s inadequate data security practices.
“The Data Breach was a direct result of [SMART’s] failure to implement adequate and reasonable cyber-security procedures and protocols necessary to protect its union members’ [personally identifying information] from a foreseeable and preventable cyber-attack,” the complaint claims.
As a result of the defendant’s alleged negligence, victims like the plaintiff—a former union member residing in Georgia—now face an increased risk of identity theft and fraud at the hands of data thieves, the filing charges.
The suit further alleges the defendant’s notification of impacted individuals was untimely and inadequate in the wake of the incident. The notice letter, which SMART only began sending out in mid-November of this year, failed to explain how cybercriminals were able to access its network and what steps are being taken to secure stored data in the future, the case shares.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone in the United States whose personal information was maintained on SMART’s computer systems that were compromised in the data breach reported by the labor union in November 2023.
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