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Home - by - December 7, 2012 - 19:28 America/New_York - 11 Comments

FOX News

Secret Service under investigation over loss of sensitive files on Metro

The Secret Service is the target of an investigation into an “immense breach” involving the loss of two backup computer tapes left on a Washington, D.C., Metro train that contained sensitive personal information about all agency employees, contacts and overseas informants, according to multiple law enforcement and congressional sources.

The ongoing probe is one of 13 new investigations involving the Secret Service launched by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS-OIG) in recent months.┬áThe new investigations stem from information received during the course of DHS-OIG’s ongoing ‘Culture of Secret Service’ probe, requested by the Senate Homeland Committee in the wake of the Cartagena, Colombia prostitution scandal in April. While these new investigations are ongoing, the Culture of the Secret Service report is expected to be released sometime in the spring.

The Secret Service acknowledged the incident surrounding the lost tapes, but downplayed the security risk.

Sources said the tapes were lost on the Red Line of the Metro in 2008 by a young, low-level associate of a private contracting company that had been hired to transport them from Secret Service’s Investigative Resources Management division at the agency’s headquarters in the Penn Quarter section of Washington, D.C., to a secure vault in Olney, Md., where government agencies store contingency plans, documents and other backup material. The employee had volunteered to deliver the tapes because he lived near the location of the vault, but got off at the Glenmont, Md., Metro stop without the tapes, according to sources.

Sources said the “personally identifiable information” — or “PII,” in government-speak — on the tapes includes combinations of the following: ┬áSocial Security Numbers; home addresses; information about family members; phone numbers; dates of birth; medical information; bank account numbers; employment information; driver’s license numbers; passport numbers; and any biometric information on file with the Secret Service.



  1. Bad Brad

    December 7th, 2012

    Their job performance is a reflection of their boss. My barber told me a joke today.
    Reelecting Obama to a second term is like throwing the Titanic in reverse and hitting the Ice Berg again.

    Thumb up +8

  2. Carlos The Jackal

    December 7th, 2012

    You think that’s bad, ATF ‘lost’ a whole shitload of guns.
    It’s all good though, some fine upstanding mexican citizens found them.

    Thumb up +6

  3. Unruly Refugee

    December 7th, 2012

    They should be called the Guarders of the Destructive Socialist Asshole. They no longer provide any Service to America.

    Thumb up +3

  4. MaryfromMarin

    December 7th, 2012

    I once left a water bottle on a train in Germany.

    This guy trumps that.

    Thumb up +1

  5. Plain Jane

    December 7th, 2012

    This was the first directive given by the newly sworn in Obummer to the SS.

    Thumb up 0

  6. Plain Jane

    December 7th, 2012

    Mary from Marin

    When I was a kid I left my whole semester of Saturday classes of work from art classes at the Art Institute on the South Shore train. I didn’t want my mom to see that she wasted her hard earned money on classes that didn’t teach anything.

    Thumb up +2

  7. AvgDude

    December 7th, 2012

    You know what really pisses me off?… I work at a government contractor and have to watch the same training video five times per year regarding protecting PII, one repeat showing per contract I work on. My colleagues and I have busted our asses to build a data analytic environment that is extremely secure with PGP encryption for all data leaving the servers on disk drives. We remove all PII fields in the data and replace them with field encrypted personal identifiers that are database specific and not traceable to a name, address, SSN or whatever outside of our environment. We build extensive Unix level security on our file systems inside our environment, locking everyone out by default an granting access via one-off, contract specific Unix groups and setfacl command.

    We do this because the government auditors demand it. And yet the biggest underminers of our security apparatus are the government employees themselves, who are constantly trying to bypass the safeguards and fail to run the software modules we put in place so they would properly encrypt data themselves when operating independently of the contracted support team. They asked us to do this. And yet, the major breaches I know about came from the VA and the Census, both of which involved one of their own employees losing their laptops with unencrypted PII data on them.

    The double-standard government workers have in regards to following security rules is amazing. They’ll happily ruin your life for not following a rule that they know they break every day.

    Thumb up +2

  8. MaryfromMarin

    December 7th, 2012

    A low-level associate “volunteered” to deliver the tapes? On his way home, because he lived nearby? What was the name of this private contracting company anyway–Doofuses-R-Us?

    Thumb up +2

  9. Bad Brad

    December 7th, 2012

    MaryfromMarin, Domino’s pizza

    Thumb up 0

  10. serfer62

    December 7th, 2012

    Another bloated, affirmative action agency

    Thumb up +1

  11. Lowell

    December 8th, 2012

    Tapes? As in linear magnetic film? On spools or cassettes? I used to use a lot of tape for data, but that was in the early 80′s. At a government facility. Somebody tell me they aren’t still using tape.

    Thumb up 0