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Ramsey County data breach might have affected hundreds

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The personal information of hundreds of Ramsey County social services clients might have been compromised after hackers gained access to the email accounts of dozens of county employees.

The social services department handles services such as chemical and mental health treatment. County officials say about 500 clients might have been affected. They're being notified this week.

The county in August learned that 28 employees had their email accounts hacked by people who tried to redirect several of the workers' paychecks. That plan was thwarted.

But a data-security firm hired to investigate the breach notified the county in October that the hacked emails contained personal data including names, addresses and social security numbers of hundreds of clients.

The county hasn't received any reports of client data being stolen or used illegally.