The FBI launched an investigation on Wednesday after there was a computer breach with the personal data of Department of Homeland Security employees, USA Today reported. The hack probably resulted in the theft of employees’ personal information, the Washington Post added.
DHS spokesman Peter Boogaard said the agency stopped working with the company, Falls Church, Virginia-based US Investigations Services (USIS), temporarily, until authorities are sure more information will not be breached.
"A multiagency cyber-response team is working with the company to identify the scope of the intrusion, and the FBI has launched a federal investigation into this issue,'' Boogaard said, according to USA Today.
It’s unknown how many people were affected by the breach, but officials do not believe it affected employees outside the department, the Washington Post wrote. Though the DHS encrypts its data when it sends it to USIS, it's unknown if that data’s code remains.
USIS, whose tagline is “ensuring a safer future today,” posted a statement after the “apparent external cyberattack.”
"Experts who have reviewed the facts gathered to date believe it has all the markings of a state-sponsored attack,'' according to the USIS statement.
"Cybercrime and attacks of this nature have become an epidemic that impacts businesses, government agencies and financial and educational institutions alike.''
USIS claims to be the biggest commercial provider of background investigations to the federal government and has more than 5,700 employees, Reuters wrote. It provides services in all U.S. states and also does work abroad.
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