WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is demanding answers after government contractor TigerSwan—through its subcontractor—allowed thousands of files on U.S. military and intelligence personnel to be publicly accessed online. Files continued to be publicly available almost a month after TigerSwan discovered the security lapse.
“Not only did TigerSwan expose servicemembers’ social security numbers and other private information, it left the information out in the open for almost a month before fixing the problem,” McCaskill said. “We need answers now on what TigerSwan will do to let those affected know what happened and protect their personal information moving forward—and what TigerSwan will do to make sure this never happens again.”
Over 9,000 files of military and intelligence personnel applying to work for TigerSwan were online and publicly available for months – including data such as social security numbers and home addresses. TigerSwan became aware of the problem in July, but did not fix the problem until late August. “This report raises serious questions about the security protocols that TigerSwan has in place to prevent these types of breaches,” wrote McCaskill in a letter to TigerSwan Chairman James Reese. McCaskill is seeking answers on how the security lapse happened, what the company is doing to alert and protect affected individuals, and what will be done to prevent similar problems from happening in the future.
McCaskill is a leading voice in the Senate for contractor oversight. In August, McCaskill blew the whistle on a federal contract that left taxpayers on the hook for over $50 million in questionable costs. She also requested answers from Energy Secretary Rick Perry after two Department of Energy contractors with a history of waste and fraud were able to subcontract to themselves by creating a subsidiary that can avoid direct oversight by the federal government. Last year, the Senate passed McCaskill-backed legislation that prohibits federal contractors and employees who have compromised the integrity of a background investigation from performing future background investigations. In 2013, the McCaskill-backed Security Clearance Oversight Reform Act, which helps improve the integrity of the background check process, became law. The bill was introduced in response to a hearing led by McCaskill and Senator Jon Tester which revealed that the contractor who conducted Snowden’s background check was under investigation. McCaskill also waged a successful six-year effort to crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse in wartime contracting.
Read McCaskill’s letter to TigerSwan Chairman Reese HERE.