U.S. National Archives finds signs of computer hack: nextgov.com


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The agency that houses the U.S. Constitution and other important historical documents has found signs of unauthorized computer activity similar to the recently disclosed hack of federal employment records, according to a report on federal technology publication nextgov.com.

The National Archives and Records Administration found signs that files were moved around, although there was no evidence that hackers took administrative control of its computer systems, nextgov.com said in its report on Monday. It cited an unnamed source involved in the investigation.

The Archives uncovered the possible breach after U.S. homeland security officials gave agencies signs to look for following a data breach at the Office of Personnel Management that affected 4 million federal workers, nextgov.com reported.

National Archives spokeswoman Laura Diachenko told the publication that the agency’s systems and applications were not compromised although “indicators of compromise” were found on three computers. The Department of Homeland Security would not confirm or deny the intrusion, according to the report.

It was not clear when the intrusion occurred, according to nextgov.com, a Washington-based publication owned by Atlantic Media Co’s National Journal Group Inc.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the report.

Representatives for the National Archives had no immediate comment on Tuesday, and Department of Homeland Security representatives were not immediately available.

Federal authorities and Congress are still probing the wider hack at OPM disclosed earlier this month. That data breach affects current and former federal workers as well as those seeking security clearances, potentially exposing vast amount of personal information.

U.S. officials have said they suspect China was behind that hack, although the Obama administration has not publicly accused Beijing. China has denied any involvement.

OPM officials appear before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday and again on Thursday at a U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing. They testified before the U.S. House of Representatives last week and are scheduled to appear again on Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee.

If confirmed, the Archives hack would be the latest in a string of major computer breaches targeting the U.S. government. Systems have been affected at the State Department, the Postal Service and the White House.

A number of big hacks have also affected the U.S. private sector, including health insurer Anthem and retailers Target Corp and Home Depot Inc.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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