U.S. Homeland Security contractor reports computer breach

U.S. Department of Homeland Security employees work in front of U.S. threat level displays inside the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center during a guided media tour in Arlington, Virginia June 26, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. Department of Homeland Security employees work in front of U.S. threat level displays inside the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center during a guided media tour in Arlington, Virginia June 26, 2014.   Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

 

(Reuters) – A company that performs background checks for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said on Wednesday it was the victim of a cyber attack, adding in a statement that “it has all the markings of a state-sponsored attack.”

 

The computer breach at Falls Church, Virginia-based US Investigations Services (USIS) probably involved the theft of personal information about DHS employees, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the story.

 

DHS said it had suspended all work with the company amid an investigation by the FBI. A “multi-agency cyber response team is working with the company to identify the scope of the intrusion,” DHS spokesman Peter Boogaard said in a statement.

 

“At this time, our forensic analysis has concluded that some DHS personnel may have been affected, and DHS has notified its entire workforce, out of an abundance of caution, to advise them to monitor their financial accounts for suspicious activity,” he said, adding that employees whose data had likely been compromised would be informed.

 

The Office of Personnel Management had also suspended work with USIS, the Post said, adding that government officials do not believe the breach has affected non-DHS employees.

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