Monday, August 25th, 2014
U.S. undercover investigators exposed in data breach
[News] A firm that performs background checks of the U.S. government has recently been attacked resulting in compromised data of nearly 25,000 workers and undercover investigators.
The breach at Falls Church, Virginia-based US Investigations Services (USIS) exposed highly personal information of workers at the Department of Homeland Security’s headquarters as well as its U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection units, two officials familiar with the investigation into the breach told Reuters. The compromised information included Social Security numbers, education and criminal history, birth dates and information about spouses, other relatives and friends. Even if the number of affected employees is small (compared to the Target Corp breach), the cyber attack is still serious. Files on background checks contain highly sensitive data that foreign intelligence agencies could attempt to exploit to intimidate government workers with access to classified information.
The Department of Homeland Security has suspended all work with USIS since the breach was disclosed and the FBI launched an investigation. USIS says it is the biggest commercial provider of background investigations to the federal government, with over 5,700 employees, and provides services in all U.S. states and territories, as well as abroad. A spokeswoman for Altegrity, which owns USIS, declined comment. Altegrity is majority owned by Providence Equity Partners.
Retrieved from: Reuters