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6/27/2012
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Breach At U.S. Regulatory Agency Puts Employee Data At Risk

Phishing attack at Commodity Futures Trading Commission fools employee into giving up account data

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which governs the nation's derivatives markets, has disclosed that it suffered a data breach in May, exposing the Social Security numbers and personal information of its employees.

According to a news report about the CFTC breach, an employee ath the commission received a phishing email on May 21 and input information into a fraudulent website. A third party was then able to illegally enter the employee’s account, which had access to personnel information, according to a copy of an email sent to agency employees that described the incident.

"The email account contained emails and attachments with the names, Social Security numbers, and possibly other sensitive personally identifiable information of certain individuals," according to the email description.

The CFTC has about 700 employees and regulates U.S. futures and swaps markets.

The incident described in the email description was confirmed last week by CFTC spokesman Steve Adamske.

"The CFTC believes at this time that the data breach is contained to employee information and does not compromise any trading or market data," said John Rogers, CIO at the CFTC, in an email statement on June 22, according to the news reports. "Law enforcement has been contacted and we will work with them as appropriate."

The agency said it will implement additional security controls for CFTC computer systems and increasing training for staff, including those who handle personal information. The commission also arranged for employees to receive identity protection from a credit-monitoring company, according to the news reports.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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