The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has revealed that a database containing tens of thousands of images of travelers entering and leaving the United States has been hacked and stolen, reports BuzzFeed News. The Border Patrol isn’t the one at fault here, however. In a statement, the organization revealed that one of its subcontractors violated CBP policy without the organization’s knowledge by transferring copies of license plate images and traveler images to the subcontractor’s company’s network. That network was then compromised by a “malicious cyberattack.”
The CBP confirmed that the images of people and license plates obtained in the hack came through specific lanes at a single port of entry into the United States, without revealing which port of entry that was. The CBP also confirmed that the images compromised cover a one and a half month period and that less than 100,000 people had their information compromised by the attack.
Though government systems were not breached in the attack, the incident highlights how vulnerable our data is at a time when governmental organizations are collecting more data about people than ever before. And as this hack shows, that data is very valuable to hackers and bad actors across the globe. You can read the CBP’s statement on the incident below: