Kentucky unemployment system to be shut down for 4 days due to hacking attempt


FRANKFORT, Ky (WEHT) One day after Kentucky launched a new online appointment system for unemployment insurance, Gov. Andy Beshear announces the system will be shut down for 4 days due to an attempt by hackers to get pin information of unemployment claimants.

The Office of Unemployment Insurance and the Commonwealth Office of Technology suspect criminal individuals or enterprises have attempted to gain unauthorized access to UI customer data. Hackers used basic information, like social security numbers, to get a person’s pin. They would then reset the pin, and try to reroute the banking information.

“Although the UI PINs are encrypted, it is possible for a person with enough computing power to guess an encrypted PIN by testing particularly weak or obvious four digit combinations,” said Amy Cubbage, Beshear’s general counsel. “We had 3,995 users who used a PIN that was 1234, more than 1,500 users who set PINs that were 2020 and more than 1,200 users whose PINs were set to 1111. To enhance the security of the system, we will be shutting down the UI system temporarily.”

All public facing UI systems will shut down at midnight Thursday for four days, and will come back online at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12. Claimants will be unable to file new claims or request their benefits during this time, but UI staff will be able to backdate any new claims that should have been filed during the shutdown. Internal systems will remain operational so UI staff will still be working to process claims.

Letters are going out to active UI accounts giving them a new eight-digit PIN. Systems will be available on Tuesday to re-register or register for the first time through the new welcome pages at or through the KCC website.

Claimants will need to:

  • Create a new 12-digit password;
  • Verify their email address and receive an access code through their email account;
  • Use the new eight-digit PIN they were mailed;
  • Know that the telephone claiming system (interactive voice response) will use the new eight-digit PIN; and
  • Review all the information on their account to make sure it is correct.

If the last four digits of their bank account or routing number is not in their UI account, claimants will receive a paper check.

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