U.S. defense contractor sustains data breach

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Employees for and applicants to the linguist program of Virginia-based defense contractor Northrop Grumman may have had their sensitive information compromised when a database was accessed by an unauthorized party.

How many victims? Unknown. Northrop Grumman employs more than 70,000 people, thousands of whom work as linguists, according to reports.

What type of personal information? Names, contact information, date of births, blood types, Social Security numbers and other government-issued identification numbers.

What happened? A database related to the linguist program was accessed by an unauthorized party.

What was the response? Northrop Grumman began an investigation.The affected database was taken offline and may no longer be accessed remotely. Letters were sent home to those who may have had information compromised. Northrop Grumman is offering a year of free identity protection services to victims and is taking steps to ensure a similar incident does not occur again.

Details: Following an investigation, unauthorized access to the database was said to have occurred between November 2012 and May 2013.

Quote: “We have no evidence at this time that any of the information has been further disclosed or used in an unauthorized manner as a result of this incident,” said Gregory Schmidt, a Northrop Grumman vice president. “We regret that this incident may affect you.”

Source: doj.nh.gov, New Hampshire Department of Justice, “Northrop Grumman (PDF),” Aug. 9, 2013.

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