US federal agencies halt background checks by contractor after cyberattack

US Investigations Services claimed the incident has the markings of a state-sponsored attack

Two U.S. federal agencies have halted background checks with a contractor that said Wednesday its networks had been breached in a cyberattack suspected to have been coordinated by an unnamed country.

US Investigations Services (USIS), based in Falls Church, Virginia, said federal law enforcement is investigating the incident, which it claimed "has all the markings of a state-sponsored attack," according to a statement. It has hired a computer forensics firm to "determine the precise nature and extent of any unlawful entry into our network."

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) temporarily suspended its contracts with the company, but USIS said it hoped to resume business soon.

USIS, which is now part of a group of companies including Kroll and HireRight owned by Altegrity, formed in 1996 after the OPM privatized its background-check functions, according to the company's website. It does employee background investigations for the government as well as other security-related investigations, such as health care fraud.

USIS said it had invested heavily in security but that cyberattacks had become an epidemic. It said it could not provide further details because an active investigation is underway.

The cyberattack adds to the contractor's difficulties of late. USIS performed the background check for former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked classified intelligence documents to several publishers last year. It has also been under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly taking short cuts during background checks.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securitydata breachU.S. Department of Homeland SecurityUS Investigations Services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?