The U.S. Marshals Service, the nation’s oldest law enforcement agency, a division of the Justice Department, reported Monday a cyber intrusion that put potentially sensitive law enforcement information at risk. The breach was a “major incident.”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.” Justice Department officials were briefed Feb. 22, and an investigation is ongoing.
The hack did not affect the Witness Security Program. It has provided new identities to more than 19,000 witnesses and their family members, since the program began in 1971. However hackers did gain access to information about some fugitives sought by federal authorities. “Shortly after that discovery, the USMS disconnected the affected system, and the Department of Justice initiated a forensic investigation,” according to the spokesperson. Several government agencies have fallen victim to hackers in recent years.