Its described as having “all the markings of a state-sponsored attack” and may have ended up compromising U.S. Homeland Security data. A major contractor which conducts background checks for the department was hit by an attack and officials are of the view that it might have resulted in the theft of employees’ personal information. The contractor, U.S. Investigations Services, discovered the breach only recently.
The attack forced Department of Homeland Security to put all work it had ongoing with USIS aside as the FBI launched an investigation. Officials believe that employees outside the department have not been affected by the attack but so far no one has been able to say exactly how many employees have had their data compromised.
This attack isn’t believed to be related to the incident that occurred back in March when the computer networks of the Office for Personal Management were hacked. OPM stores detailed data on over five million U.S. government employees. No personal data was stolen in that attack which was reportedly traced back to China.
No one is pointing any fingers right now and even though some officials believe it may have been a state-sponsored attack, nobody is being named and shamed. USIS is the largest contractor that does background checks for the federal government, particularly on employees and applicants of the DHS who need security clearances.
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