Photos of people crossing the US border and the numbers of their cars were stolen as a result of a cyber-attack, according to the US border service. The number of travelers whose photos were stolen is not reported, but the service processes the data of more than a million people every day.
The cyber-attack on the contractor firm of the US Border customs service occurred in May but reported it only on Monday. Officially, the name of the contractor is not disclosed, but probably hackers broke into the company Perceptics, which is engaged in the introduction of facial recognition technologies at the border.
The word Perceptics was contained in the title of the document with the statement of the border service about the attack.
Photos of Americans and tourists crossing the border at airports were not stolen.
The border service said that the photos were stored on the contractor’s servers in violation of internal rules. Border guards claim that the database was not put up for sale in the darknet, but journalists of the site “Register” at the end of May found in the “dark” segment of the Internet a large archive of data of Perceptics, which could be downloaded for free.
“Register” gives a screenshot from the page with the archives. One of them is called “database numbers.” In total, there are 65 thousand files in the archives, but in addition to the photos in the database there were other files, so we can talk about another array of data.
The border service did not report on how many data were abducted. The official statistics of the service indicate that on average it processes data every day about a million people crossing the border by car and on foot.
American border services are increasingly mastering facial recognition technology. In March, President Donald Trump signed a decree on the collection of biometric information of all people crossing the US border. The legal basis for this was laid under the Obama administration.
In March, Buzzfeed reported, citing the NGO Electronic Privacy Information Center, that over the next two years, US border guards should expand the use of these technologies to such an extent as to scan the faces of about a hundred million air passengers departing from the United States every week.