The third-party vendor hired to build an online ticket site for Pierce County’s ferry system did not secure its site properly, resulting in roughly 2,100 people’s credit card information being made public online.
Notice of the error was sent to affected users Tuesday.
“All the logs have been checked, there is no evidence whatsoever of any inappropriate access,” said county spokeswoman Libby Catalinich.
Regardless, the county is offering free credit monitoring to affected riders through credit-reporting company Experian, she said.
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“Because there was that window of vulnerability, we felt it was our obligation to let (users) know and offer them credit monitoring,” Catalinich said.
County officials learned of the error last month via Twitter when someone posted the credit card information was in the open for everyone to see.
The website has been fixed and is now secure, said Catalinich.
The error could cost the county $66,000 if all 2,100 people sign up for the free credit monitoring. County officials don’t expect everyone to sign up, Catalinich said.
The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing the county’s contract with ferry service provider HMS Global Maritime to see whether to pursue reimbursement for the credit-monitoring costs.
The online vendor that set up the ferry ticket website for the county was a subcontractor of HMS, said Catalinich.
Passengers affected will receive information in an email about how to set up the free credit monitoring.
Nearly 89,000 passengers and 99,000 vehicles used the county ferry system in 2015, according to the most recent data on the county’s website. The ferry runs from the Steilacoom waterfront to Ketron and Anderson islands multiple times a day, seven days a week.