(VitalNews.org) – A healthcare administrator that serves Congress has been hacked. The House’s Chief Administrative Officer Catherine Szpindor wrote to Members of Congress saying there had been a significant data breach, but it did not appear to target Representatives. However, the FBI said it has potentially affected hundreds of members and that their private data may have been compromised.
The company, DC Health Link, issued a statement saying, “We can confirm reports that data for some DC Health Link customers has been exposed on a public forum.” It did not name the public forum involved, but the FBI has confirmed the attack affected members of both Houses and their families.
A broker on a crime forum has reportedly been offering to sell the data of 170,000 DC Health Link members, including names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and places of employment. However, Congress members received an email reassuring them that only full name details were stolen and no other identifiable information.
Data theft and hacking are growing concerns. In February, the US Marshals Service suffered a severe security breach. The Marshals Service oversees the Witness Protection Program, which places crucial witnesses in criminal trials into safe houses and provides them with a new identity. However, the office said that information on people in the program hadn’t been compromised.
The FBI was also targeted earlier this year. Hackers hit the New York Field Office in February in what some described as a “malicious cyber incident.” The hacked system was the one used by the agency to investigate child abuse and exploitation. It was not the first time the FBI had suffered from a cyberattack. In November 2021, an email made its way to thousands of organizations, apparently from the FBI, warning of a major cyber threat. The threat was not real, and it is unclear how the email was sent, but it brought a new hazard into focus: causing panic by issuing false alerts about cybercrime.
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