A data breach at the U.S. Transportation Department (USDOT) has resulted in the exposure of personal information belonging to 237,000 current and former U.S. government employees.
The breach specifically affected the systems responsible for processing TRANServe transit benefits, which are used to reimburse federal government employees for certain commuting expenses.
It is currently unclear whether any of the compromised personal information has been utilized for criminal activities.
In an email seen by Reuters, the U.S. Transportation Department (USDOT) informed Congress on Friday that their preliminary investigation into the data breach has determined that the breach was confined to specific systems within the department.
These systems were primarily used for administrative functions, specifically the processing of employee transit benefits.
The federal employee mass transit commuting costs have a maximum benefit allowance of $280 per month.
The breach has affected a total of 114,000 current employees and 123,000 former employees.
In the past, federal employees and agencies have been targeted by hackers, leading to significant breaches of sensitive data.
Two notable incidents occurred at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in 2014 and 2015.
These breaches resulted in the compromise of personal information belonging to over 22 million individuals, including 4.2 million current and former federal employees.
Additionally, the fingerprint data of 5.6 million individuals was also compromised.
More recently, suspected Russian hackers utilized SolarWinds and Microsoft software to infiltrate various U.S. federal agencies.
This breach allowed them to gain access to unclassified Justice Department networks and read emails at the Treasury, Commerce, and Homeland Security departments.
According to Reuters, a total of nine federal agencies were affected by this breach in 2021.