Let's face it – there's a lot of emphasis placed on cyber-defense in the 21st century. While it's troubling enough that consumers are increasingly worried about their personal information being leaked or stolen via the Internet, it's even scarier when it happens to those in the senior ranks of national defense. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened when many top officials with the U.S. Department of Defense discovered that some of their personal data, including Social Security numbers, had been stolen by hackers.
Investigating the Breach
The incident occurred as part of a larger data breach that took place at some point between May and July 2019. Although the U.S. Department of Defense has not disclosed the exact kind of information that was compromised, they have confirmed that Social Security numbers were amongst the stolen data.
If that wasn't bad enough, the breach wasn't even discovered for several months. The breach was first reported in February 2020, when the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) – a division of the United States' Department of Defense – issued a letter to those involved.
However, they were quick to point out that they have no reason to suspect that any of the personal details – including Social Security numbers – have been misused at the time of this writing. They also highlighted the fact that they've made several significant improvements to their network security systems since the original breach. Victims of the recent data breach will also receive hands-on support from DISA, including free credit-monitoring services.
A spokesperson with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), a division of the United States' Department of Defense, was quoted as saying: "The Defense Information Systems Agency has begun issuing letters to people whose personally identifiable information may have been compromised in a data breach on a system hosted by the agency. 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."
While it's likely unrelated, hackers have also hit Mexico's Economy Ministry. Thankfully, the attack was centered on servers that are used for email and archival purposes and, as such, shouldn't have any serious repercussions. Nonetheless, it goes to show that nobody is safe from the reach of hackers in the 21st century.
Finding Out More
In the case of the U.S. Department of Defense and DISA, the potential fallout could have been much more severe – and it still could be. As DISA is responsible for facilitating IT services and support for the U.S. president, vice president and their staff members, as well as the U.S. Secret Service and many senior-level officials of the U.S. military, it's safe to say that the tech support team with DISA will have their hands full over the coming days, weeks, and months.
For more details on DISA, including news and other information, please visit their official website at www.defense.gov. To find out more about the U.S. Department of Defense, head over to their site at www.defense.gov.
Data Breach Threatens U.S. Department of Defense Officials
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