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The US Marshals Service says hackers accessed sensitive law enforcement data

USMS says a ransomware attack exposed sensitive law enforcement data, including investigation targets’ personal information.

The USMS is in charge of all law enforcement in the federal justice system. This includes the federal witness protection program and the transportation of prisoners.

The U.S. Marshals Service found “ransomware and data exfiltration” on a “stand-alone” system on February 7.

“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,” USMS spokesperson Drew Wade told TechCrunch.

Sources told NBC News, which first reported the breach, that the attackers did not access USMS’ witness protection database.

Wade said that the hacked system has been cut off from the USMS network and is being looked into as a “major incident.”Federal agencies must notify Congress of major hacks.

The U.S. Marshals Service did not say how it was compromised, if it identified the attackers, or if it paid the ransom. Paying ransom demands doesn’t guarantee data access, the FBI warns.

“The Department’s remediation efforts and criminal and forensic investigations are ongoing,” Wade told . “We are quickly and effectively mitigating incident-related risks.”

USMS has disclosed data breaches before. In May 2020, the U.S. Marshals Service leaked 387,000 inmates’ names, birthdates, home addresses, and social security numbers.

There were reports that attackers had broken into the computer system of the FBI’s New York field office.

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