A U.S. agency responsible for the security of communications for the White House suffered a cyber-attack, exposing the personal data of about 200,000 people. The affected data includes names and social security numbers.
It was confirmed by the Department of Defence that computers controlled by the Defence Information Systems Agency (DISA) had been hacked. The agency oversees military communications including calls for President Trump.
Reportedly, the agency is also responsible for the military cyber-security and it sets up communications networks in combat zones.
Ironically, the DISA website says its vision is “to be the trusted provider to connect and protect the war fighter in cyber-space.”
8,000 military and civilian personel are employed by DISA. However its operations involve the handling of data for many other individuals. Apparently this is why the personal data for so many people was compromised.
A Department of Defence spokesperson would not comment on whether the organisation knew who was responsible for this attack – but told the BBC the department was constantly under threat.
The spokesperson said:
DoD networks are under attack daily and the department maintains an active posture to thwart those attacks,
According to BBC News, the agency said it had begun notifying people who had been affected but that there was “no evidence” their information has been misused. The data breach occurred over the summer of 2019 and letters to possible victims began going out this month.
The agency said once the breach in its computer system was discovered it investigated and took steps to fix it and prevent further hacks.
Andy Piazza, a US veteran and cyber threat analyst, posted the letter he received from DISA on Twitter.
Piazza told the BBC he was not particularly concerned about the information that may have been compromised. But he felt there had been an increase in the number letters he was receiving from public and private firms about data breaches. DISA’s policies require it to notify anyone whose data may have been compromised.
The agency said it will follow up with information on how to mitigate any damage, and that anyone who was affected will be offered free credit monitoring services.
Source: BBC News