Hackers steal law enforcement data from US Marshals

In a major breach of the US Marshals Service’s computer systems this month with ransomware, hackers stole sensitive and personally identifiable data about agency employees and targets of investigations, a spokeswoman said. agency on Tuesday.

The hacked system was disconnected from the network shortly after the breach and stolen data were discovered on February 17. The Department of Justice determined that this was a major incident and opened an investigation while the Marshals worked “quickly and effective,” to minimize any risks involved. with the violation, agency spokesman Drew Wade said Tuesday.

The hack was first reported by NBC NEwS.

The incident is the latest example of cybercriminals targeting a government agency a ransomware scheme and raised questions about the Justice Department’s cybersecurity protocols.

February 17 was also when CNN reported that an FBI computer system had been breached. It cited unnamed sources as saying the system was in the FBI’s New York field office. Asked about the intrusion, the bureau issued a statement calling the intrusion “an isolated, contained incident.” It declined further comment, including when the breach occurred and whether ransomware was involved.

Ransomware attacks have become the most serious cybersecurity concern in the world. They took everything from The British postal service of the Irish national health network of the Costa Rican government. Schools, hospitals and local governments are often targeted.

The FBI and international law enforcement officials scored a victory last month when they disrupted, at least temporarily, a prolific ransomware gang, saving a potential $130 million in ransom payments.

In ransomware attacks, organized gangs break into computer networks and seed malware that paralyzes them by encrypting data. But before activating the ransomware they steal data. Criminals can then hold the data hostage even if the target can quickly restore the affected network with backup data.

The hacked US Marshals system contained sensitive law enforcement information and personally identifiable information about the subjects of the investigation and some US Marshals employees, the agency said. It is tasked with tracking fugitives, transporting federal prisoners, protecting witnesses and providing court security.

In May 2021, hackers targeted the largest US fuel pipeline, causing operators to shut it down and pay a multimillion-dollar ransom, which was later recovered by the federal government.

A hacker was claimed in December that violated an outreach program run by the FBI that shares sensitive information on national security and cybersecurity threats with public and private officials who run critical US infrastructure.

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