Missing Security at Minnesota Driver's License Website

Series of missteps left personal and financial data vulnerable at Minnesota's license tab renewal Web site

The department opted not to perform a forensic audit on the systems that might reveal whether personal information was stolen. Immediately after the computer system was taken offline, officials from Gov. Tim Pawlenty on down said that no Minnesotan's personal data had been stolen or compromised by hackers.

However, auditors and others responded that there was no way to know whether that was true without doing a sophisticated audit of every command and action the computer made before the shutdown.

After researching the issue, McCormack said Driver and Vehicle Services did not hire an outside firm to do such a probe because it would not offer conclusive proof. She said the legislative auditor agreed.

If someone thought his personal data were stolen, he surely would have called the department by now, Ellison added.

"All I can tell you is that people complain all the time," she said. "Because there are millions of people who deal with Driver and Vehicle Services and they complain about everything else and they haven't complained about this."

(c) 2005 Associated Press