As many as 387,000 current and former prisoners of the U.S. Marshals Service had their complete identities stolen in a data breach, including names, addresses, birth dates and Social Security numbers. The U.S. Marshals Service data breach appears to have been discovered by a new cybersecurity monitoring tool that was developed for the Justice Security Operations Center. From there, the Department of Justice alerted the U.S. Marshals Service in December 2019; the U.S. Marshals Service data breach was investigated and then announced.
The attempted attack involved a public-facing server (also called customer-facing); public in that the public or a business’ customers can access it. The server housed a system called DSNet, which is supposed to enable the tracking of U.S. Marshals Service prisoners with the federal courts, Bureau of Prisons and the agency itself.
The U.S. Marshals Service is tasked with serving as the law enforcement division for the federal courts system. The agency arrests fugitives and serves federal warrants; in 2019, the U.S. Marshals Service served more than 105,000 warrants and arrested more than 90,000 individuals. As a result of the need for accurate identification, the U.S. Marshals Service collects and stores a large amount of information on each prisoner. Both prisoners who are currently serving sentences and individuals who were only detained for a short time may have both been impacted by the U.S. Marshals Service data breach in the number of compromised records.
The U.S. Marshals Service has issued data breach notification letters and recommends that affected individuals file an ID theft report with the Federal Trade Commission, place a credit freeze or fraud alert with one of the credit reporting agencies and obtain a copy of their reports at no cost.
Anyone who has been affected by the U.S. Marshals Service data breach can live-chat with an Identity Theft Resource Center expert advisor via the website or call toll-free for help at 888.400.5530. Victims are also encouraged to download the free ID Theft Help App for iOS and Android to access the resources, advisors, a case log where victims can track all their steps and much more.
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