Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter, that the personal information of about 237,000 current and former federal government employees was exposed in a data breach at the US Department of Transportation.
The hack hit systems processing TRANServe transportation benefits, which reimburse government employees for some of their commuting costs. There is no information currently on the occurrence of exploitation of personal information for criminal purposes.
The US Department of Transportation notified the Senate on Friday in an email, seen by Reuters, that its initial investigation into the data breach had “limited the breach to certain systems to the section used for administrative functions, such as processing employee transportation benefits.”
The US Department of Transportation said in a statement to Reuters that access to the data did not affect any transportation safety regulations. But it did not say who might be responsible for the hack. It added that the administration is investigating the breach and has frozen access to the transportation benefits system until it is secured and restored.
The maximum benefit allowance is $280 per month for federal employee commuting costs. The breach affected 114,000 current employees and 123,000 former employees.
It is noteworthy that this is not the first time that federal employees and federal agencies have been the target of hackers, as two breaches of the Office of Personnel Management in the United States in 2014 and 2015 led to access to sensitive data belonging to more than 22 million people, including: 4.2 million current employees and federal, along with the fingerprint data of approximately 5.6 million of these individuals.
This, has been hacked by Russian hackers; They used SolarWinds and Microsoft programs to infiltrate US federal agencies and unclassified Justice Department networks, and read emails at the Departments of Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security. Reuters reported that 9 federal agencies were hacked in 2021.
It is noteworthy that a senior House official said last March that a “major data breach” that occurred in the health insurance market in Washington, D.C., may have exposed the personal identification information of hundreds of lawmakers and employees.