According to senior law enforcement officials, the U.S. Marshals Service has been hit with a security breach, occurring over a week ago. Officials report that sensitive information was compromised. U.S. Marshals spokesperson, Drew Wade, told NBC News in a statement on Monday, “The affected system contains law enforcement sensitive information, including returns from legal process, administrative information, and personally identifiable information pertaining to subjects of USMS investigations, third parties, and certain USMS employees.”

Wade confirmed that the breach happened on February 17, saying that the Marshals Service “discovered a ransomware and data exfiltration event affecting a stand-alone USMS system.”

Investigation Underway for the Breach

The U.S. Marshals Service disconnected the system from the network and the Department of Justice (DOJ) started a forensic investigation. The agency has determined this to be considered a major incident, and Wade says that the investigation is ongoing.

According to NBC News, the Witness Security Program database was not impacted by the breach. So individuals in the witness protection program can rest easy, with officials saying that no one in the program is in danger due to the breach.

It’s certainly a relief that this database wasn’t impacted; however, the agency is still considering this a significant incident, as it impacts sensitive information used in their investigations.

Significant Incident to U.S. Marshals Service

Nevertheless, the official said, the incident is significant, affecting law enforcement sensitive information pertaining to the subjects of Marshals Service investigations. The U.S. Marshals Service said that while the systems is disconnected from the network, they have been able to set up a workaround so operations and endeavors to track fugitives can keep moving forward. At this point, there’s no information yet on whether or not the attackers have threatened to release the stolen data.

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.