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Foreigners Probably Behind Break-in at DHS Background Check Contractor

Mark J. Terrill/AP File Photo

Department of Homeland Security employees likely had their personal information exposed when attackers poached a computer system at USIS, a firm that conducts personnel investigations on behalf of many agencies, The Washington Post reports.

It’s unclear how many government workers are affected.

USIS officials said in a statement the intrusion “has all the markings of a state-sponsored attack.”

The Office of Personnel Management suspended work with the company “out of an abundance of caution,” a senior Obama administration official said.

The breach is separate from a recent hack that directly struck an OPM database containing information on individuals applying for security clearances.

USIS already was in the headlines for allegedly cutting corners on background checks to hit revenue targets. The company conducted background checks on Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis and ex-National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. 

Read the rest at ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches. 

And find out even more on NG Cybersecurity, our new iPhone app. 

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