Virus breaches Statehouse email system

Email data security breach

During debate over the state education budget Thursday, House Speaker Mike Hubbard broke in to ask lawmakers to avoid opening state email because of a security breach.

“We urge you to please not open any any emails that are coming from any entity of the state of Alabama until they get this figured out,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard said it was unclear where the breach originated.

Brunson White, secretary of information and technology, confirmed that the Legislature’s email system had been compromised by a virus.

White said that the breach was limited to legislators and support staff using the satellite system. The statewide email system, with more than 18,000 users, wasn’t affected.

“The Legislature has its own system, and it’s run independent of the rest of the state,” White said. “As of now, systems on the other agencies and the statewide systems are uncompromised.”

He told Alabama Today that the issue is being addressed by the Legislature’s IT staff, and that the team expects to resolve the issue Friday.

In the interim, White advises the public: “If anyone does receive an nefarious or odd-looking email from the Legislature, they should not open them.”