(CNN) — A ransomware attack against the US Marshals Service affected a computer system containing “sensitive information of law enforcement agencies,” including personal information pertaining to investigative targets, a USMS spokesperson said. its acronym in English) this Monday night.
“The affected system contains sensitive law enforcement information, including statements of legal process, administrative information, and personally identifiable information related to subjects of USMS investigations, third parties, and certain USMS employees,” spokesman Drew Wade said in a statement. release.
The Marshals Service — which handles federal prisoners in the US and hunts down escapees — discovered the attack and the theft of its network information on February 17. The service “has taken the affected system offline and the Department of Justice has initiated a forensic investigation,” Wade said in the statement.
The Justice Department later determined that the events “constitute a significant incident,” according to the statement. A “major incident” is an attack significant enough to require a federal agency to notify Congress.
A senior official familiar with the matter told CNN that no data related to the witness protection program was obtained during the incident.
The Justice Department’s investigation into the incident is ongoing.
NBC News was the first to report on the incident.
This is at least the second major malicious cyber incident to affect US federal law enforcement in February.
The FBI had to move to contain malicious activity on part of its computer network earlier this month, CNN first reported time at that time. FBI officials believe the incident involved an FBI computer system used in child sexual exploitation image investigations, two sources briefed on the matter told CNN.
There was no immediate indication that the US Marshals Service and FBI cyber incidents were related.