Border Patrol’s Database: One Lakh Traveller Photos Stolen


“One of our subcontractors have been breached in a malicious cyber attack”- states the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials recently. This was stated while exposing the images of the travellers coming in and out of the country. Almost 100,000 people’s information has been compromised in the attack being stolen from the database, as stated by the law enforcement officials.

The database that was comprised of the photos and the face of the people and as well as the license plates, all had been transferred to the subcontractor’s network without the knowledge and authorization of federal agency. Nevertheless, the stolen photo data did not include any identifying information and the best part is no passport or other travel document has been so far compromised. The breach was first identified on 31st May 2019.

The name of the subcontractor was not taken by CBP but stated that the hacker who has allegedly hacked the database is known by the name “Boris Bullet Dodger” who has pilfered the data from a company named Perceptics that provides license plate reader technology for the US Mexico border and offered the dump as a free download on the dark web. The CBP has confirmed that none of the image data has been identified on the dark web or on the internet.

A fact persists with the CBP that is CBP makes use of the cameras and the video recordings at the public places like the airports and the land border crossings where the captured images are used as a part of a facial recognition program that is designed to track the identity of the people entering and exiting US. The database containing data such as the personal identifying information is becoming the most favourite target for the hackers and the cybercriminals while the incident further proves the need for the careful evaluation of data collection practices involved by the government agencies.

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