Hacker Breached U.S. Army Database Containing Sensitive Information on Dams

By on May 2, 2013
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A hacker compromised a U.S. Army database that holds sensitive information about vulnerabilities in U.S. dams, according to a news report.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ National Inventory of Dams contains information about 79,000 dams throughout the country and tracks such information as the number of estimated deaths that could occur if a specific dam failed. It’s accessible to government employees who have accounts. Non-government users can query the database but cannot download data from it.

The breach began in January and was only uncovered in early April, according to the Free Beacon, a nonprofit online publication, which first published the news.

Pete Pierce, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, did not return a call from Wired but confirmed to the Free Beacon that the breach occurred.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is aware that access to the National Inventory of Dams (NID), to include sensitive fields of information not generally available to the public, was given to an unauthorized individual in January 2013 who was subsequently determined to not to have proper level of access for the information,” Pierce said in a statement to the publication. “[U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] immediately revoked this user’s access to the database upon learning that the individual was not, in fact, authorized full access to the NID.”

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