Confidential information of members of Congress and their staff and family members has been exposed in a data breach, according to House leaders. They were able to buy leaked information from the DC Health Link health insurance marketplace on the dark web, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries wrote in .
The data included the names of spouses, dependent children, social security numbers and addresses of members, according to the letter. “This breach significantly increases the risk of identity theft, financial crime and physical threats to members, staff and their families, which are already a constant concern,” he read.
McCarthy and Jeffires said the FBI had yet to determine the size and scope of the breach, though they noted the impact on “House’s clients could be extraordinary.” They noted that thousands of House members and employees across the country have signed up for health insurance through DC Health Link since 2014.
“Fortunately, the individuals selling the information appear to be unaware of the high level of sensitivity of the confidential information in their possession and their relationship to members of Congress,” House leaders wrote. “This will certainly change as media reports more widely publicize the rape.”
“Currently, I do not know the size and scope of the breach, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has informed me that the account information and [personally identifiable information] hundreds of House members and staff were robbed,” Catherine L. Szpindor, House Administrative Director, wrote in a letter to colleagues. She reports that the data also includes details about the senators and their staff, but that information was apparently limited to their names and those of their family members.
NEW: The Chamber’s Administrative Director has just sent an email to staff/members to inform them that there has been a major data breach at DC Health Link, the health insurance for Chamber members and staff: @DailyCaller pic.twitter.com/XP9Ehg1r0p
—Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) March 8, 2023
The operator of the DC Health Link DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority said it has opened an investigation. “We are in the process of notifying affected customers and will provide identity and credit monitoring services,” he said. nbc news in a sentence. The FBI has confirmed that it is aware of the incident, while the Capitol Police are assisting the agency with its investigation.
A member of a dark web forum reportedly claimed this week that he had data on 170,000 DC Health Link customers and was willing to sell the information. They later said that the information had been sold.
“We’re going to continue to work on this issue in a bipartisan way, get to the bottom of what happened, figure out the implications of what happened,” Jeffries said Thursday. “And we’re also going to need some reassurance as to what security measures will be put in place to prevent this type of data breach from happening again.”