USIS, a federal contractor for the Department of Homeland Security, has suffered a cyber attack which has led to the theft of as many as 25,000 DHS employees’ internal records.
An anonymous agency official said that the number could be greater and that the incident is now under federal criminal investigation.
The internal cyber security team at USIS detected the intrusion earlier this month and said it had ‘all the markings of a state-sponsored-attack’. However, no word has been given on who they believe this foreign government is.
DHS employees were notified on August 6 and were advised to monitor their financial accounts. After informing employees, DHS issued ‘stop-work orders’ to prevent further information coming into USIS until the agency believes it can once again look after records safely.
Rick Dakin, Chief Executive of Coalfire, an IT audit and compliance firm based in Maryland, said the possibility that other federal departments could be affected depended on whether the DHS records were ‘segmented, or walled off, from other federal agencies’ files inside USIS’.
“The big question is what degree of segmentation was already in place so that other agencies weren’t equally compromised,” he said.