Tue, Feb 10, 2009
Names, SSNs, Medical Records Compromised For 45,000
As if there wasn't enough to worry
about right now, comes word hackers broke into the FAA's computer
systems and accessed personal information of tens of thousands of
employees and retirees.
The Associated Press reports FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown
confirmed Monday statements from the American Federation of State,
County and Municipal Employees Local 3290, asserting names and
Social Security numbers for some 45,000 employees were hacked last
Union president Tom Waters said the agency briefed union leaders
about the security violation, in which hackers accessed two
separate files: one containing names and SSNs for workers and
retirees on the FAA's rolls through February 2006, the second
holding encrypted medical information.
"These government systems should be the best in the world and
apparently they are able to be compromised," said Waters, who works
for the FAA as contracts attorney. "Our information technology
systems people need to take a long hard look at themselves and
their capabilities. This is malpractice in their world."
The FAA told the union this was the first time such an attack
had been successful against the agency's computers... but Waters
says AFSCME complained years ago about anti-union mailings send to
union members, using addresses that appeared to come directly from
FAA computers. The union says no action was taken on that matter,
despite appeals to the agency and the DOT inspector general.
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