Tuesday, June 13, 2006

yet MORE stolen files--Hacker Stole Data on Nuclear Security Workers

The Blotter

**yet MORE stolen files....anyone curious YET?**
June 12, 2006 4:23 PM

Avni Patel Reports:

A computer hacker stole 1,500 files containing sensitive personnel information on contractors and employees who work for the National Nuclear Security Administration, the agency within the Department of Energy in charge of overseeing the security at the nation's nuclear weapons sites.

The data stolen included names, social security numbers, codes for the locations where the contractors worked and their security clearances.

The theft occurred at an unclassified computer server in Albuquerque, N.M. in July 2004. According to an Energy Department spokesman, the NNSA was unaware of the security breach when it happened and did not find out about it until last August when the FBI discovered the breach as part of a separate investigation. The Secretary of Energy, senior department officials and the employees affected were not informed of the data theft until several days ago.

At a congressional oversight hearing on Friday, the NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks blamed the lapse on a bureaucratic mix-up. Brooks told the committee he had assumed Bodman had been informed. "Just as the secretary just learned about this this week, I learned this week that the secretary didn't know," said Brooks. "There are a number of us who in hindsight should have done things differently on informing."

Upon learning about the breach and the delayed disclosure, Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX), who chairs the House Energy Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, called on NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks to resign immediately. "And I mean like 5 o'clock this afternoon if it's possible," he said, "I don't see how you could meet with the secretary every day the last seven or eight months and not inform him."

An Energy Department spokesman said that Secretary Bodman has asked the department inspector general to look into problems with the disclosure and that the department was in the process of contacting employees and contractors whose personal data was compromised.

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