Washington suspends need for fishing licenses after cybersecurity breach until the end of August.
Until the 30th of August anglers in Washington will be allowed to fish or crab without a license or other endorsements. This comes after the discovery of a cybersecurity breach forced the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to shut all license purchasing systems down.
The vulnerability allowed hackers access to personal information customers entered when purchasing a license. State agencies, law enforcement, federal agencies, and state officials are currently working on a fix for the problem as they assess how much information was actually taken.
They issued a state-wide suspension on fishing licenses until the system is restored so anglers can still fish.
“We are as frustrated as our customers over the licensing system being shut down, but want to make sure anglers can still hit the waters over the next several days,” said Jim Unsworth the Director of the WDFW in a press release.
While licenses aren’t required, all other fishing regulations still need to be followed. Catch records will also need to be kept for all salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, or crab caught from August 25-30.
Discovery Passes have also been suspended for areas managed by the WDFW. They are still required for areas ran by the Washington Department of Natural Resources or Washington State Parks.
Hunting licenses still cannot be purchased until the system is secured. They plan on having it back in working order well before the September bow season opener.
“I appreciate our customer’s patience while we work through this security vulnerability with the license sale vendor,” said Unsworth. “The department is taking the steps necessary to ensure the site is secure and our customer’s information is protected.”
All license sales are expected to resume by the 31st.