Federal workers notified after SRA virus breach

Breach embarrassing for SRA, a consulting company that sells cybersecurity services to the federal government

Employees at federal security agencies are being notified that their personal information may have been compromised after hackers planted a virus on computer networks of government contractor SRA International.

SRA began notifying employees and all of its customers after discovering the breach recently, said company spokeswoman Sheila Blackwell. The malicious software may have allowed hackers to get access to data maintained by SRA, including "employee names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and health care provider information," the company said in a notification posted at the Maryland Attorney General's website.

The breach is embarrassing for SRA, a 6,600-employee technology consulting company that sells cybersecurity and privacy services to the federal government. The company wouldn't say which federal agencies were affected by the breach, but in US Securities and Exchange Commission filings it lists intelligence agencies and those such as the US Department of Defence, the US Department of Homeland Security and the US National Guard among its clients.

The virus was apparently not detected by the company's antivirus software, according to the notification letter. The company is investigating the incident with US government and law enforcement authorities and has worked with its antivirus vendor to add detection for the malware, SRA said. SRA didn't say which virus had infected its networks, but it did say that it believes other companies may have been hit by the same issue.

Hackers may have also been able to access the data SRA collects in its security position questionnaires, the company said. Those questionnaires are used in screening prospective employees for security jobs.

SRA doesn't know if any data has been compromised but is taking the precaution of notifying customers that their data may have been accessed.

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