The Federal Aviation Administration has announced that one of its computers was illegally accessed and employee identity information was stolen.
In total, there were 48 files on the breached computer server and two of them contained personal information about more than 45,000 FAA employees and retirees.
However, the server was not connected to the operation of the air traffic control system, and there is no indication any systems have been compromised.
According to the company statement, "The FAA is moving quickly to prevent any similar incidents and has identified immediate steps as well as longer-term measures to further protect personal information."
This is not the first time government has mishandled sensitive personal information. In 2006, a Department of Veterans Affairs’ subcontractor lost a computer with insurance claim data of patients at Pittsburgh and Philadelphia VA Medical Centers.
In a related development, a recent experiment demonstrated that RFID chips recommended by the Department of Homeland Security for use in new electronic passports are easy to break and download information from.