By Christopher Bing
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. defense agency responsible for secure White House communications said Social Security numbers and other personal data in its network may have been compromised, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Thursday that was sent to individuals whose data may have been taken.
The letter, dated Feb. 11, 2020, says that between May and July 2019, personal data may have been compromised “in a data breach” on a system hosted by the Defense Information Systems Agency.
The White House did not immediately answer a request for comment and the letter provided few further details. For example, it did not indicate what specific part of DISA’s network had been breached or identify which other individuals may have had their data compromised.
The Defense Information Systems Agency, which calls itself a combat support agency of the Defense Department on its website, employs 8,000 military and civilian employees.
The agency says it “provides direct telecommunications and IT support to the president, vice president, their staff, and the U.S. Secret Service.”
The site also says the agency provides “direct support” to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and senior members of the U.S. armed forces. Its field offices support U.S. military commanders abroad.
The agency’s letter said that it had no evidence any personal data possibly taken was misused but that it was required to notify individuals who may have had data taken.
(Reporting by Christopher Bing; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Jonathan Oatis and Howard Goller)