LoBiondo Receives Update by FAA on Breach of Computers
After FAA computers were breached and the names, addresses and Social Security numbers of 45,000 employees and retirees were accessed, U.S. Representative Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) was briefed by FAA Chief Information Office (CIO) Dave Bowen on the agency's response to protect those affected, the status of the ongoing investigation, and steps being implemented to prevent future incidents.
"I appreciate the FAA's continued efforts to keep not only myself, but the thousands of employees and retirees affected including those at the FAA Tech Center, informed of their actions to date," said LoBiondo, a member of the House Aviation Subcommittee. "It is clear the security breach of the FAA computers was preventable and those who hacked the system must be prosecuted under the fullest extent of the law. I will look to regular updates on the ongoing investigation and their response to ensure such an incident does not occur again."
At present time, there are ongoing investigations by the FAA's Inspector General's office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). FAA CIO Bowen informed LoBiondo that the FAA has taken the following steps to ensure employees and retirees are protected:
Ø Acquiring new software and updating procedures to better encrypt employee and retiree data in FAA computers;
Ø Contracted with Experian credit services to provide comprehensive credit monitoring and identity theft protection to FAA employees and retirees who were impacted;
Ø Set up a Q&A section on the FAA employee website;
Ø Established a 1-800 hotline for employees and retirees to call with questions or for credit counseling services; and,
Ø Sent letters to all impacted employees detailing credit monitoring services available and how to enroll using a pre-paid code issued by the FAA.
The security breach of the FAA computers occurred in early February at a facility in California, though it affected the 1,500 employees at the FAA Tech Center in Pomona and Atlantic City International Airport Control Tower. At a House Aviation Subcommittee hearing on February 11, 2009, LoBiondo questioned FAA Acting Assistant Administrator Nancy LaBoe about the incident and requested officials provide regular status updates on the investigation and actions taken to protect employees and retirees, such as the one provided this week in LoBiondo's Capitol Hill office.