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The state of Iowa’s job search website remains inoperative, more than two weeks after the system fell victim to a cyberattack.
On June 26, the IowaWorks.gov website went down due to an apparent cyberattack aimed at Geographic Solutions Inc., or GSI, the Florida-based company that maintains the site.
Because GSI serves almost two dozen states and the District of Columbia with their job-search sites, the impact of the cyberattack has been felt across the nation.
GSI President Paul Toomey has said the company’s initial investigation suggests no personal data was accessed or retrieved from its network operations center.
Iowa Workforce Development spokesman Jesse Dougherty said the agency has found no evidence to suggest any “sensitive customer or end-user information” was affected.
According to IWD, the cyberattack has had no effect on the payment of unemployment benefits to Iowans, but has disrupted Iowans’ weekly submission of ongoing unemployment claims and impeded the job-search process for claimants.
The agency has said to avoid any delays in processing unemployment benefits, it has implemented a method of bypassing the normal process of submitting claims.
Unemployed Iowans are advised go directly to uiclaims.iwd.iowa.gov/weeklyclaims to file their weekly benefit claims, and to report their work-search activities on the IowaWorks.gov website once it’s back up and running properly.
In the meantime, IWD temporarily has suspended the requirement for claimants to report their job-search activities to remain eligible for unemployment benefits
IWD hopes its website will be back up in the near future, but currently there is “no firm timetable for restoring IowaWORKS.gov to public use,” Dougherty said.
“Again, no Iowa unemployment benefits have been delayed because of this problem,” he added. “In terms of job searches, we have been encouraging Iowans to use the National Labor Exchange, www.usnlx.com, during the time IowaWorks.gov is down.
“Our local IowaWORKS offices remain open, where career planners can still provide one-on-one assistance, such as help with employment applications, resumes and mock interviews.”
IWD is “currently working with the vendor to get the site back up and running and ensure that it is secure,” Dougherty said.
Individuals with questions about their claims or benefits can contact the IWD customer service line by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-866-239-0843.
This article first appeared in the Iowa Capital Dispatch, part of States Newsroom, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by grants and a coalition of donors and readers.