On Tuesday, a senior House Official confirmed that a “significant data breach” occurred at the health insurance marketplace for Washington, D.C. The official said that the security breach could potentially have exposed sensitive data belonging to hundreds of lawmakers and staff.
NBC News, Chief Administrative Officer Catherine L. Szpindor obtained a letter on Wednesday which confirmed that the U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI had alerted her to a data breach at DC Health Link, which is the Affordable Care Act online marketplace that manages health care policies for Congress staffers and a few select staff who work at The Capitol.
“Currently, I do not know the size and scope of the breach but have been informed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that account information and [personally identifiable information] of hundreds of Member and House staff were stolen,” Szpindor said. “I expect to have access to the list of impacted enrollees later today and will notify you directly if your information was compromised.”
Szpindor doesn’t believe that the lawmakers were “the specific target of the attack” on DC Health Link.
The Daily Caller was the first outlet to Tweet Szpindor’s letter.
Out of an “abundance of caution,” Szpindor said, lawmakers said that lawmakers might have the option to freeze family credit at three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and Transunion.
Senate offices were also affected by the breach, as per an email sent to Senate offices Wednesday afternoon which confirmed that the Senate Sergeant at Arms was notified by authorities about the breach.
The notice said that the “data included the full names, date of enrollment, relationship (self, spouse, child), and email address, but no other Personally Identifiable Information (PII).”
A spokesperson for the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority, which operates DC Health Link confirmed that an investigation is ongoing.
“We have initiated a comprehensive investigation and are working with forensic investigators and law enforcement. Concurrently, we are taking action to ensure the security and privacy of our users’ personal information,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We are in the process of notifying impacted customers and will provide identity and credit monitoring services.”
The spokesman said that credit monitoring services were being offered to all affected customers.
In a statement, the Capitol Police said, “Our agents are assisting the FBI with the ongoing investigation. There is more work to do before law enforcement can provide more details. The House CAO will be providing helpful information to those who may be impacted.”
The FBI said it “is aware of this incident and is assisting. As this is an ongoing investigation, we do not have any additional information to provide at this time.”
Szpindor’s letter also confirmed that the Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) both reached out to DC Health to seek confirmation of what data was breached and what action was being taken to assist those affected.
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