The US Department of Homeland Security’s avowed intent is to ‘secure the nation from the many threats we face’. It’s ironic, therefore, that the DHS has accidentally leaked the Social Security numbers, bank and credit card information, addresses and emergency contact details of over 20,000 of its current and former staff. Amongst the victims are members of the US Marine Corps.
The information went out, erroneously rather than maliciously, to a variety of email accounts and was quickly recalled. It is not clear whether any were opened.
This is not the only example of US military personnel having their private data compromised. Two data breaches in 2015 affected 22 million people, almost all of whom had security clearance. Despite tightening up its cyber security, the DHS suffered another breach in January, this time exposing the personal data of nearly a quarter of a million current and former employees.