MCLB investigates computer security breech - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

MCLB investigates computer security breech

August 27, 2002

Albany-  Someone has hacked into the Department of Defense computer system, and it's causing big problems for the military.

Some time in the last few weeks, a hacker broke into a computer system in Pennsylvania. The hacker may have gotten access to the Social Security and phone numbers of civilian employees who work at the MCLB Maintenance Center.

Marine Base Capt. John Dodd says the military has no idea who did it, but the hacker may have names, address and Social Security numbers of thousands of civilian employees who worked for the military.

1,200 current or retired civilian workers at MCLB Albany are now on notice to watch for possible identity theft.

More security measures have been installed into the computer system in Pennsylvania to make sure another hacking doesn't take place.

updated at 9:50AM, Aug. 28 by kathryn.murchison@walb.com and dave.miller@walb.com

  • Here is the message that has been issued to emplyees by the Marine Corps:

 PLEASE PROVIDE A COPY OF THIS NOTICE TO CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES WHO WERE EMPLOYED AT THE MAINTENANCE CENTER BETWEEN THE DATES OF OCT 01, 1996-JUN 17, 2002.

-----------------------------------------------

 

This is to inform you that unauthorized person(s) recently accessed a Department of Defense (DOD) computer, test system, located at Mechanicsburg, PA.  The test system contained Privacy Act protected information.  Specifically, it included a number of names, social security numbers, pay plans, series, grades, steps, and hourly rates of the Maintenance Center’s personnel, who were employed between the dates of October 01, 1996 and June 17, 2002. You are being provided with this notice, because your information may have been compromised and you may want to raise your level of awareness against the possibility of identity theft.  However, there is currently no evidence that any criminal activity, such as credit card fraud or other identity theft has occurred in connection with the intrusion.

 

The Defense Information Systems Activity (DISA), Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) is investigating the intrusion.  The Defense Criminal Investigation Service has oversight of the CERT Investigation.  You will be provided with additional information after the conclusion of the investigation.

 

Maintenance Center employee data, along with other Working Capital Fund Activities, were included in the test system that may have been compromised.  Accordingly, the Deputy Commander of the Maintenance Center determined to meet with his employees on 26 August 2002.

 

What should you do in light of this computer intrusion?  Be sensitive to any suspicious events concerning your credit cards, bank accounts, etc.  If you become aware of any unauthorized use of your name or social security number, you may report the incident to:

 

Kenneth S. Maupin, Supervisory Special Agent/Group Manager

                                    DCIS Northeast Field Office

                                    Tinicum Industrial Park

                                    10 Industrial Highway, Bldg. G

                                    Mail Stop 75

                                    Lester, PA 19113

                                    Phone: (610) 595-1900  Fax: (610) 595-1934

                                    E-mail: Kmaupin@dodig.osd.mil

 

            There are several government websites, which offer information and steps an individual may take to protect themselves from identity fraud or theft.  For your convenience, procedures from one of these websites is provided below.  If you desire additional information, you may access the following website:

 

http://www.ncis.navy.mil/IDTheft/IDTheft.html

 

            There were a number of questions posed at the Maintenance Center’s initial notification meeting with employees, which was conducted on August 23, 2002.  In an attempt to respond to those questions, Agent Maupin (DODIG) provided the following information:

           

            There was no beneficiary or dependent information in the compromised test system database.  There was no personal information in the system, other than what has already been identified above.  Social Security Numbers were the only account-related information in the database.  There is no indication that the intrusion was an act of terrorism.  There was no individual government credit card information resident in the system; accordingly, the government credit card issuer was not notified. The Computer Emergency Response Teams of the Department of Defense and the Defense Finance and Accounting Services are developing preventive measures to preclude subsequent intrusions. Although individual commands may have issued local press releases, it does not appear that the DOD, DON or USMC have yet done so.  Absent other criminal acts, the intrusion will have no foreseeable effect upon your retirement or Thrift Savings Plans (TSP).  The TSP has not been notified of the intrusion, nor has the TSP website been shut down.  However, the Social Security Administration has been alerted to the intrusion.

  

 

 

ACTION STEPS FOR POSSIBLE
IDENTITY THEFT VICTIMS

 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suggests that you order a copy of your credit report from three different credit bureaus every year to check on their accuracy and to ensure that they include only those debts and loans you've incurred.  This could be very important, especially if you are considering a major purchase, such as a house or a car. A credit bureau may charge you for a copy of your report.

 

 

Agency            Report Fraud  Order Report Web Site

 

Experian            (888) 397-3742              (888) 397-3742       Experian

 

Trans Union       (800) 680-7289              (800) 916-8800       TransUnion

 

Equifax              (800) 525-6285               (800) 685-1111        Equifax

 

 

 

            If someone has stolen your identity or fraudulently used your identity in connection with credit card fraud, the FTC recommends you take three actions immediately.

 

First, contact the fraud department of each of the three major credit agencies.  Tell them to flag your file with a Fraud Alert/Victim Impact statement, a note that tells creditors they should call you for permission before they open any new accounts in your name.

 

Second, contact the creditors for any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Ask to speak with someone in the security or fraud department, and follow up in writing. Following up with a letter is one of the procedures spelled out in the Fair Credit Billing Act for resolving errors on credit billing statements, including charges or electronic fund transfers that you have not made.

 

Third, contact law enforcement.  Agent Maupin’s contact information was provided above and you may also report suspicious criminal activity involving identity fraud to your local law enforcement authorities.

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED ACTIONS FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION, IF YOU BELIEVE THAT SOMEONE HAS STOLEN YOUR IDENTITY OR FRAUDULENTLY USED YOUR IDENTITY IN COMMECTION WITH CREDIT FRAUD:

 

 

-         Contact all creditors, by phone and in writing, to inform them of the problem.

 

-         Alert your bank to flag your accounts and to contact you to confirm unusual activity.

 

-         Request a change of PIN and new password on existing credit cards/ATM or debit cards, if you believe your existing accounts have been wrongfully accessed.

 

-         Keep a log of all contacts and make copies of all documents.

 

-         Contact the Social Security Administration's Fraud Hotline to report any suspected identity fraud, 1-800-269-0271.

 

-         Contact your state office of the Department of Motor Vehicles to see if another license was issued in your name. If so, request a new license number and fill out the DMV's complaint form to begin the fraud investigation process.