The Department of Transportation breach exposed the data of 237,000 current and former employees.

It is unclear who is behind the cyber attack, how it occurred and when it was first discovered.

“In an era where the federal government is asking the private sector to do more in terms of cybersecurity, the Department of Transportation breach shows the government needs to follow its own lead and better protect its own systems,” Brandon Pugh, director of Cybersecurity and Emerging Threats at the R Street Institute, told Nextgov in an emailed statement. “All data breaches are concerning, but there are particular risks with information on federal employees being made public. The information could be used to target the impacted federal employees or to carry out future attacks, depending on the precise data that was breached.”

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