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TSA acknowledges potential data breach

Missing external hard drive containing information on about 100,000 individuals has yet to be located, agency says.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration acknowledged on Thursday that an external hard drive containing data from approximately 100,000 archived employment records went missing from a controlled area at the agency's Office of Human Capital. While it is unclear whether the hard drive was stolen or if it is still on the premises, the matter is being treated as a criminal investigation and the TSA has enlisted both the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service for assistance. Additionally, the TSA has started to notify individuals who may have been affected, and is working on purchasing a year's worth of credit monitoring services for any current or former employees whose data was involved in the breach. An update to the TSA's page regarding the matter, at 8:30 a.m. Pacific time on Monday, stated that the investigation is ongoing.

The employee records, according to a release from the TSA, extend from January 2002 to August 2005 and contain potentially sensitive data including names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, payroll information, and bank account data.