Hackers compromise Navy purchase cards

Hackers compromise Navy purchase cards

Hackers recently broke into a Navy system and gained access to 13,000 Navy purchase cards, according to Defense Department officials who are investigating the incident.

The DOD Purchase Card Program Management Office has issued a release stating that the Navy has cancelled all of its purchase card accounts'about 22,000'to minimize the number of unauthorized purchases, and is working closely with the issuing company, Citibank.

'Vendors who accept the purchase card and do business with the Navy should be aware that all card accounts have been cancelled and that Citibank is working quickly to re-establish new accounts and cards. In the meantime, emergency purchases are being handled on a case-by-case basis to fully support Navy requirements,' according to the statement.

A DOD team is working to determine how hackers gained access to the system and what needs to be done to fix the breach. A Defense Criminal Investigative team is also pursuing the investigation.

Defense spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin declined to say what system was breached, over what time period the attacks occurred and how they discovered the incident.

'Suffice to say that we are aware of the breach,
and we are taking measures against it happening in the future,' Irwin said.

The Navy has had other problems with its purchase cards. Last year, the General Accounting Office released a report that uncovered widespread abuse by many within the Navy and other services and suggested the DOD impose credit checks on employees who carry them.

Some examples of misuse at two Navy facilities included unauthorized purchases of home computers, personal digital assistants and DVD players.

At the time, deputy Defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz said the department would begin using data-mining software to monitor purchase patterns in search of misuse or fraud.

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