FAA Computer Hacked, 45,000 Names Accessed


"All affected employees will receive individual letters to notify them about the breach," said the FAA statement. "The FAA is moving quickly to prevent similar incidents and has identified immediate steps as well as longer-term measures to further protect personal information."

The agency stated that the hackers accessed 48 files on its computer server, and two of them contained personal information for everyone that was on the FAA's employee rolls as of the first week of February 2006. The FAA said that the affected server was not connected to the FAA's air-traffic control system or other agency operations.

The agency's statement was not reassuring, some sources said.

Federal agency security breaches of this magnitude are not new. One of the most significant in recent years was the theft, in May 2006, of a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs laptop and hard drive that contained personal data for 26.5 million veterans and active-duty personnel. That incident spawned an overhaul of the VA's IT infrastructure and also prompted the resignation of the VA's general counsel. Later that year, in August, came the theft of a Department of Defense laptop that affected 30,000 Navy applicants.

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