La. unemployment office’s website offline after nationwide malware attack

BATON ROUGE – A state webpage used to submit unemployment claims was taken down Wednesday after the company that runs it was targeted in an apparent hack.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Wednesday afternoon that efforts to restore the page were ongoing. The state said the outage affects nearly 11,000 people currently filing continued claims for unemployment in Louisiana.

Up to 40 states with websites run by the same company, Geographic Solutions, are currently affected by the malware attack, but state officials said Louisiana’s unemployment page is being prioritized for restoration.

Read the full statement from the Louisiana Workforce Commission below.

Work is currently underway to restore the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s HiRE website
(https://www.louisianaworks.net/hire/) after Geographic Solutions (GSI), the company that operates it, discovered an attempted malware attack that required it to take state labor exchanges and unemployment claims systems offline. The resulting outage from the attack is also impacting as many as 40 other states and Washington D.C., which use GSI.

The HiRE website is used to file unemployment claims, job searches and other functions. According to GSI, there was no data breach and the personal information of HiRE users was not compromised. This outage impacts the near 11,000 people currently filing continued claims for unemployment in Louisiana. GSI has prioritized Louisiana for restoring the HiRE website, and we remain fully committed to working with them to bring our systems back online as soon as possible.

This outage will not prevent otherwise eligible claimants from receiving unemployment insurance benefits. For HiRE users who filed weekly certifications prior to the system outage but have not yet received payment, LWC will prioritize ensuring that payments are issued promptly once the website is back online. LWC will issue further instructions to users who have not yet filed a weekly certification, once access to the HiRE site has been restored to ensure all eligible users have an opportunity to file claims.

Our call centers have reopened to answer questions or address concerns. Weekly claims certifications for unemployment benefits can still be filed through the automated phone system (1-866-783-5567) by selecting “Option 2” to access your account and following the prompts. However, call center staff cannot file new claims or provide any claims related information. LWC estimates that the site will be restored within the next 72 hours, but payments will be delayed.

We will provide updates on the restoration of our HiRE system on our homepage and our social media as they become available. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

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