Tuesday, June 11, 2019

CYBERATTACK - U.S. Customs and Border Protection

NOTE:  This article was copied from the e-newspaper, therefore no article link.

"Photos of travelers taken in data breach" San Diego Union-Tribune 6/11/2019

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Monday that photos of travelers had been compromised as part of a “malicious cyberattack,” raising concerns over how federal officials’ expanding surveillance efforts could imperil Americans’ privacy.

Customs officials said in a statement Monday that the images, which included photos of people’s faces and license plates, had been compromised as part of an attack on a federal subcontractor.

The CBP makes extensive use of cameras and video recordings at airports and land border crossings, where images of vehicles are captured.  Those images are used as part of a growing agency facial-recognition program designed to track the identity of people entering and exiting the U.S.

The CBP says airport operations were not affected by the breach, but it declined to say how many people might have had their images stolen.  The agency processes more than a million passengers and pedestrians crossing the U.S. border on an average day, including more than 690,000 incoming land travelers.

A CBP statement said that the agency learned of the breach on May 31 and that none of the image data had been identified “on the Dark Web or Internet.”  But reporters at The Register, a British technology news site, reported late last month that a large haul of breached data from the firm Perceptics was being offered as a free download on the dark web.


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