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The US Marshals Service (USMS) has been hit by a ransomware attack. Among the affected systems is a computer system containing sensitive information for police operations, such as personal information about targets and ongoing investigations.

The police organization, which takes care of federal inmates and locating fugitive suspects, was recently hit by a ransomware attack. The attack was discovered on Feb. 17, NBC reported. It affected a stand-alone system containing sensitive law enforcement information. The cybercriminals who carried out the ransomware attack managed to siphon off data.

The U.S. Department of Justice declared the attack a “major incident. Moreover, the data breach is so serious that it must be reported to the U.S. Congress.

Highly sensitive personal data

The attack captured sensitive personal information about criminals in the crosshairs of the USMS and information about ongoing investigations. In addition, data about third-party agents, administrative information and various USMS employees were siphoned off. The stolen information may identify individuals involved, for example. No information was leaked about the witness protection program of U.S. judicial authorities.

Meanwhile, the USMS has called the affected system disconnected from the Internet and has launched a forensic investigation into the cause of the data breach.

The ransomware attack is the second cyber attack on U.S. judicial authorities within a month. Earlier this month, malware was also found on an FBI system. This system was used to investigate images of child pornography, CNN reported.

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