USIS, the Department of Homeland Security’s contractor for conducting security clearance background checks, has had the personal records of at least 25,000 of its employees stolen because of hackers, and the hackers may have been from a foreign country, according to the Associated Press (AP).
AP’s source was an unnamed DHS official who told AP that Homeland Security would soon let employees know if their personal information had been stolen and encourage them to check their financial accounts.
USIS provides the most background investigations to the federal government of any company, but the company is being targeted with a federal whistleblower lawsuit because it allegedly “dumped” over 600,000 background checks for security clearances, allowing some clearances to be considered complete although they were not completely conducted.
In March, the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was revealed to have been penetrated by hackers from China, but OPM insisted that no personal data was stolen. The US Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT), a subsidiary of DHS, has joined the FBI and other federal officials to investigate the hacker attack on USIS. USIS was the company that was supposed to conduct the background checks for Edward Snowden and also for Aron Alexis, the shooter at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., last year.