If you’ve received a background check through the Department of Homeland Security, your personal information, including date of birth and Social Security number, may have been compromised.
Employees working at DHS headquarters, Customs and Border Protection, and for Immigration and Customs Enforcement from 2009 to 2013 were specifically identified in an internal memo. The breach allegedly occurred through a third party vendor’s system for processing background investigations. DHS did not reveal the identity of the vendor, but they did confirm the breach, which left employee’s personal data accessible to unauthorized users from 2009 onward. DHS spokespersons were quick to point out that they had no reason to believe information had been compromised, despite the breach which made it possible.
“The department takes its responsibility to safeguard personal information seriously,” a spokeswoman said by email to Federal News Radio. “At the direction of DHS, the vulnerability was immediately addressed. While there is no evidence to suggest that any information was inappropriately accessed, out of abundance of caution, notifications to potentially affected employees began today, outlining ways that they can protect themselves, including requesting fraud alerts and credit reports. DHS is evaluating all legal options while engaging with the vendor to pursue all available remedies.”
The spokesperson stated that while employee background investigation information was accessible, the breach did not allow access to the full Standard Form 86.