September 25, 2023

“Major Security Breach” at U.S. Marshals Service Exposes Sensitive Information, Say Law Enforcement Officials

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Sources clarified that the Witness Security Program database, also known as the witness protection program, was not involved in the “Major Security Breach” incident.

Senior U.S. law enforcement officials confirmed that the U.S. Marshals Service experienced a security breach more than a week ago, exposing sensitive information.

Drew Wade, a spokesperson for the U.S. Marshals Service, released a statement on Monday acknowledging the breach and revealing that the compromised system contained law enforcement sensitive information, including personally identifiable data about subjects of USMS investigations, third parties, and certain USMS employees.

U.S. Marshals Service faces “major incident” after security breach

A spokesperson for the U.S. Marshals Service, Drew Wade, has confirmed that the agency experienced a ransomware and data exfiltration event on Feb. 17 that affected a standalone system.

In response, the system was disconnected from the network, and the Justice Department initiated a forensic investigation.

Senior officials within the department were briefed, and they determined that the breach constituted a “major incident” after the briefing. The affected system contained sensitive information related to law enforcement, including personally identifiable information related to third parties and employees of the Marshals Service.

Investigation continues into the security breach, according to a statement by U.S. Marshals Service spokesperson Drew Wade.

According to a senior law enforcement official familiar with the matter, the security breach did not involve the database related to the Witness Security Program, also known as the witness protection program. This official confirmed that no one in the program is in danger as a result of the breach.

Nevertheless, the breach is considered significant as it has compromised law enforcement sensitive information related to subjects of Marshals Service investigations, the official said.

Despite the breach, the agency has developed a workaround to continue its operations, including its efforts to locate fugitives.

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