The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) disclosed earlier today that hackers have breached a database of travelers photos and license plates, according to the Washington Post. CBP has been expanding its facial-scanning systems to global airports across the country since Donald Trump's 2017 executive order expediting the deployment of this surveillance.
The hack took place after the images were transferred to the network of a private subcontractor, which CBP said was a violation of department policy. -Mexican border, although several are pedestrian-only, and more than 100 along the far longer U.S.
The breach first came to light on May 31.
A CBP statement says none of the information has turned up on "the Dark Web or Internet", but a British security service says it's seen information from a USA contractor offered as a free download. "No CBP networks or databases were breached as a result of the cyber-attack".
We don't know the scope of the problem, as the CBP is so far keeping quiet on how much data was stolen, or how many people have been compromised with this theft.
Those images are used as part of a growing agency facial-recognition program created to track the identity of people entering and exiting the U.S.
One U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to lack of authorization to discuss the breach, said it was being described inside CBP as a "major incident". Perceptics bills itself as the "sole provider" of license plate readers to border stations and the company's name appeared in the title of the Microsoft Word document containing the CBP statement to the media. "A malicious cyberattack" then compromised the company's network, exposing the data. Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows openly expressed their concerns about the push for facial recognition software, with Meadows suggesting a pause on the tech's implementation "until we make sure that isn't not violating our Fourth Amendment rights and civil liberties". Pretty much same goes for license plates. "You want technology that generates data you can trust and delivers it when and where you need it most", a marketing website says. It's these photos database that the hacker gained access to.
This was confirmed by the US CBP, which said the data was stolen from a third party subtractor.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents take part in a training exercise at the U.S. -Mexico border, November 5, 2018, in Hidalgo, Texas.
House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson said he plans to hold hearings next month on the agency's use of biometric information.
Photos of holidaymakers visiting the United States have been stolen in a cyber attack, the American border force has said.