Tech by VICE

What Happens When a US Border Protection Contractor Gets Hacked?

The government wants all the data it can get from you at the border. But what happens when a hacker shows they can’t store it safely?

by Motherboard Staff
Jun 14 2019, 1:43pm

Image: Motherboard

Every day, 1.1 million people travel through American points of entry, according to statistics from US Custom and Border Protection (CBP). Of those 1.1 million, almost 700,000 are people coming in by land, and of those almost 300,000 come in by privately owned vehicles.

Depending on their way in, CBP gets fingerprints, photos, biometric data, passport IDs, and the license plate numbers of all the millions of people who cross the border by car.

In May, Motherboard reported that a hacker known as “Boris the bullet dodger” said he had hacked a license plate reader company called Perceptics, then posted a large cache of the stolen data on the dark web. Now, less than a month later, CBP issued a statement confirming a data breach at one of its contractors. Earlier this week, Motherboard was also able to download images of drivers from the Perceptics hack that were posted to the dark web.

On this week’s episode of CYBER, we’ve got Joseph Cox and Motherboard Editor in Chief Jason Koebler to discuss what the hack tells us about government data collection and the use of private companies to collect that data.

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