Another week, another hack. But this time, it's not your credit cards and bank accounts at risk. One federal government contractor is reporting that sensitive Department of Homeland Security employee information was hacked last August.
USIS is the top background-checking firm used by the U.S. government. It discovered the hack itself and reported the situation to authorities.
Government officials on Wednesday told The Washington Post that the FBI is trying to figure out how many employees were affected, though the officials said that they believed the breach was confined to employees at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
However, USIS has told a different story. The contractor said that other federal agencies were also affected by the hack, which could include the Office of Personnel Management. That agency was the victim of an attack originating in China earlier this year.
If OPM was affected by this attack, it would be the second time this year that the agency's information was hacked. Last time, there was some suspicion that the attack was state-sponsored. That could be the case this time around, too.
The contractor, USIS, which itself found and reported the attack in August, said in a statement that the break-in "has all the markings of a state-sponsored attack."
But, there's no word on which state might be behind the attack. A group of hackers in the Chinese military has been accused of stealing U.S. business and government data in the past.
If the U.S. government is vulnerable to hackers, then you can bet your information is at risk, too. Make sure you visit my Security Center to outfit your computer with the right programs to keep hackers out of your life.
If a company you use is ever hacked, you should change your online account password immediately and order new credit and debit cards from your financial institutions.