The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), which handles
IT and telecommunications support for the White House and U.S. military troops,
has disclosed a data breach that may have affected 200,000 people between May
and July 2019.
According to a letter sent by
the U.S. defense agency to victims, Social Security numbers and other personal information
stored on a system on their network might have been compromised.
“While there is no evidence to suggest that any of the potentially compromised PII was misused, DISA policy requires the agency to notify individuals whose personal data may have been compromised”, according to the letter, dated Feb. 11, 2020.
The agency has also stated that new protocols and additional
security measures have since been put in since to prevent future incidents and protect
personal identifiable information.
Following the breach, DISA vows to provide free credit monitoring services to victims, and advises those concerned about identity-theft related crimes to visit the FTC’s website for additional information and prevention steps.
The agency has given no further information. Details such as
who was responsible for the breach and what systems were compromised will most
probably remain unknown.
The disclosure of this security breach further darkens the
2019 cyber landscape, which had already reached an all-time high in number of
exposed records. The event shows that no system can be bulletproof and that
sooner or later, anyone can fall victim to data breaches, even a Department of
Defense (DOD) agency overseeing presidential communications.