DLA system led hackers to credit card records

The Navy had to cancel 22,000 government credit cards after hackers gained access to a Defense Department system's billing records for 13,000 Navy cards and downloaded card numbers.

DOD's Joint Purchase Card Program Office, which issues and manages cards for the military services, discovered the breach a few days after it occurred in late July, said LeAntha Sumpter, program manager of the purchase card program office.

Hackers started probing a Defense Logistics Agency Web site as early as June, Sumpter said, and gained access a month later to a DLA center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
Workers at the center noticed heavier than usual traffic on one of its servers, officials said.

'Once the guy got in, the activity level skyrocketed, and that was just a red flag to the folks at the DLA site that something was going on. Once we realized it had been breached, DLA shut the system down,' Sumpter said.

There were no unauthorized purchases made on the compromised cards, Sumpter said. 'To date, we have been able to find zero instances of fraudulent purchases,' she added. 'It was just unusual activity that was flagged.'

Last week, the Navy and DOD were working with Citibank, the card issuer, to send out new cards. 'We canceled all 22,000, since we did not know if any instances of fraud would be found,' Sumpter said. 'We wanted to be safe because of the potential impact to the government.'

Access questions

A DOD team is working to determine how hackers gained access. A Defense Criminal Investigative Service team is also pursuing the investigation and will determine whether there were one or multiple attacks.

The Navy tracks its purchase cards through the Navy e-Business Office in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

'You have a whole bunch of systems connected to a system,' Sumpter said. 'The hacker got in through a DLA capability and got access to the Navy cards because there was a security problem at the DLA site.'

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