The government’s largest supplier of background checks has been hacked
A major contractor for the United States government which conducts background checks for the Department of Homeland Security has suffered a computer breach which most likely resulted in the theft of personal information from its employees.
The United States Investigations Services (USIS), which is based in Falls Church, Virginia, said that federal law enforcement is currently investigating the incident, which USIS claims has all the markings of a state-sponsored attack,” according to a statement. USIS has enlisted the help of a computer forensics firm to “determine the precise nature and extent of any unlawful entry into our network.”
Two United States federal agencies, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), have temporarily suspended their contacts with the company, however, USIS said that it hopes the business to resume soon.
“Our forensic analysis has concluded that some DHS personnel may have been affected, and DHS has notified its entire workforce” of the breach, department spokesman Peter Boogaard said. “We are committed to ensuring our employees’ privacy and are taking steps to protect it.”
DHS officials have stated that, even though the employee data it sends to USIS is encrypted, it is, as of yet, unclear whether that data is still encrypted. “We have an inclination that, based on what the company has been telling us, there has been a spill. The degree to which that information has been exfiltrated for other purposes is what we’re trying to discern now,” said the officials.
USIS is the largest provider of background checks for the United States government. Officials from the company only just recently discovered the penetration of the firm’s network and immediately informed the FBI, OPM, and other relevant agencies.
“We are working collaboratively with OPM and DHS to resolve this matter quickly and look forward to resuming service on all our contracts with them as soon as possible,” the firm said in its statement.
Read more about the story at the Wall Street Journal.