Investigation reveals widespread insider hacking at immigration agency

Investigation reveals widespread insider hacking at immigration agency

BY ALIYA STERNSTEIN 08/18/2011

The investigation began in January 2008, when officials at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is part of Homeland Security, reported to the department’s inspector general that numerous personnel had violated federal security rules at the agency’s Texas Service Center, one of four regional centers that handle a variety of immigration-related petitions and applications. According to the materials obtained, employees and supervisors abused system logon privileges, gained unauthorized access in some instances and then allegedly sabotaged audit logs to leave behind no traces of their illicit activities. IG papers list the redacted names of 17 subjects of the investigation, all of whom were information technology specialists.

The evidence of breaches at the center is the latest revelation of insider threats at USCIS. With their ill-gotten access rights, the Texas personnel were capable of, for example, granting citizenship rights, as well as reading files containing sensitive information on contract awards, immigration reform or other policy formulations, say former USCIS IT officials there at the time.

 

Wow, this is horrible.  They need better oversight.

Ruby

About the author

Ruby Powers

The child of a Mexican immigrant, Powers gravitated toward an international life by later marrying a Turkish immigrant. Having lived and studied in Belgium, Mexico, Turkey, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates, Powers speaks Spanish, French, and a hint of Turkish.

With a passion for service and justice coupled with cultural understanding and an interest for immigrants, Powers dedicates her law practice to immigration law.

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law, Processing of Applications and Petitions

Add a Comment

Facebook

YouTube

LinkedId