The Pentagon's Travel Records Were Hacked, Possibly Affecting 30,000 Personnel

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Hackers recently breached Pentagon travel records and nabbed personal information and credit card data, perhaps on as many as 30,000 military and civilian personnel, AP reported.


The breach was only recently discovered but may have happened months ago. Senior Pentagon leaders were told about the breach on Oct. 4.

In a statement to AP, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Joseph Buccino downplayed the scale of the breach and said it was the fault of a single vendor.

"It's important to understand that this was a breach of a single commercial vendor that provided service to a very small percentage of the total population," he said.

“The department is continuing to assess the risk of harm and will ensure notifications are made to affected personnel."

It wasn't yet clear whether this breach was of the Defense Travel System or something else. The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Still, it hasn't been a good week for inspiring confidence in DoD's cybersecurity abilities.

Days before this latest breach was discovered, the Government Accountability Office published a new report after extensive investigation that found nearly all weapons systems in the military arsenal were vulnerable to hackers.

Between 2012 and 2017, penetration testers “routinely found mission critical cyber vulnerabilities in nearly all weapon systems that were under development,” the report said. Also noteworthy was the fact that testers weren’t taking nearly as much time or using sophisticated methods as a nation-state adversary would.

Instead, most used “relatively simple tools and techniques” to take control, and largely operated undetected as a result.

"It's kind of like the equivalent of dropping a soda can into canyon and putting on a blindfold and going and finding it, because you can't just look down and see it," diver Jeff Goodreau said of finding the wreck.

The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.

The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.

The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.

Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.

Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.

Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.

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