Phishers access USAJobs site; Effect 'slight,' officials say

Phishing e-mailers recently gained unauthorized access to a USAJobs database, the Office of Personnel Management said this week. OPM officials said the effect on the site was slight because agency information security personnel and technicians from Monster Worldwide, the technology provider for USAJobs, quickly isolated the problem.

OPM said the phishers used malicious software to obtain contact information — names, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers — from a Monster.com resume database in an attempt to collect sensitive information from job seekers. OPM stressed that no Social Security numbers were compromised.

The incident affected about 146,000 subscribers to USAJobs.gov, according to OPM. The site has about 2 million subscribers. Monster Worldwide has identified the problem and shut down the rogue server that was accessing and collecting the information.

The phishers accessed the résumé data through a private-sector Monster customer’s computer using legitimate employer credentials. The most likely use for this kind of data is to send fraudulent e-mail messages to USAJobs subscribers requesting disclosure of additional information, according to OPM officials.

The agency is working with Monster Worldwide to deploy a long-term remedy to protect data, according to the agency. OPM has posted a notice on the USAJobs Web site alerting users to counterfeit phishing e-mail messages and warning subscribers not to provide information through unsolicited e-mail.

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