Homeland Security, Justice Dept. investigate data breach

February 10, 2016

WASHINGTON (2/10/16)--The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Justice Department are investigating an apparent data breach related to the personal data of thousands of DHS and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) employees.

The data was hacked and has been posted online, an agency spokesman said on Monday.

An anonymous hacker intended to dump onto the Internet names, job titles, email addresses and official phone numbers of more than 9,000 DHS employees and another 20,000 FBI workers, the tech website Motherboard reported (Reuters Feb. 9).

Many of the email addresses are not public, according to Motherboard, while job titles include “task force deputy director” and “special agent.”

A pro-Palestinian Twitter account on Sunday had posted a link to a document that contained 9,372 purported DHS employees' data, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant media activity.

The data dumps were announced on the Twitter account @DotGovs, accompanied by the hashtags #FreePalestine and #ProPalestine.

The posted data included DHS employees' names, official titles, departments, phone and fax numbers, state and country address information, and official email addresses, SITE said.

SITE said the hack bore a strong resemblance to earlier breaches attributed to a group called "Crackas with Attitude," which had been credited with attacks targeting Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan, FBI Deputy Director Mark Giuliano and Miami-area police departments.

However, a government official familiar with investigations into the breach said some data published by the hacker relates to people who stopped working for DHS more than a year ago.