FILE - Director Brendan Kelly, Illinois State Police, 10-28-20

Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly speaks at a news conference on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020.

(The Center Square) – The Illinois State Police said they have added additional online security requirements to the FOID online application system after hackers attempted to breach the site.

Specifically, the ISP is restricting the use and access of personal information that FOID card applicants submit in their online FOID account that could match Illinois resident personal identification information unlawfully obtained from any number of previous cyber breaches. The personal information did not come from ISP systems and servers, according to a news release.

"The FOID website software vendor, working with ISP, recently determined unauthorized persons were attempting to use this type of previously unlawfully obtained personal information to match with and access existing FOID online account information to add further detail to their existing stolen data," the release said.

An investigation by vendor with ISP determined no FOID card has been fraudulently issued and no ISP database breached, the release said.

"The software vendor determined that using previously stolen personal data to access existing accounts, unauthorized users may or may not have accessed additional “auto populated” personal identifiers unique to that account and card such as the last four of a social security number. 2,067 FOID card holders, less than .0008 % of total card holders, were possibly impacted by these attempts. In accordance with state law and out of an abundance of caution, all affected persons were sent notice and issued a new card at no cost," according to the news release. "Just as when credit card information is unlawfully used, the potential unauthorized access was identified, the current card cancelled and a new one immediately issued to the affected FOID card owner." 

The site is currently up and accepting applications, the agency said.

Illinoisans who want to buy and own firearms and ammunition must have a Firearm Owners Identification card issued by Illinois State Police. For more than 18 months, the state has been delayed in processing applications for the required ID, with many waiting months.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker just signed legislation this week supporters said modernizes the system and the ISP director said more resources are being put toward processing the delays.

Last fall, ISP updated its website, including those for processing FOID applications.

Staff Reporter

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience and hosts the WMAY Morning Newsfeed out of Springfield.