Thursday, June 15, 2006


Hanford Workers Have Their Info Stolen

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation has had a troubled history. Discharges of radioactivity and contamination of ground water aren’t the only problems. But since the facility is closed down, we may be seeing some sort of karmic problem.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 12:00 AM
Hanford workers warned of security breach
The Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Energy has warned about 4,000 present and former workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation that their personal information may have been compromised, after police found a 1996 list with workers' names and other information in a home during an unrelated investigation.

The discovery marks the second time in less than a week that the Energy Department has warned employees and its contractors' employees that their personal information may have been compromised.

Police in Yakima discovered the list while investigating an unrelated criminal matter, the Energy Department said, adding the list included the names of people who worked for a former Hanford contractor, Westinghouse Hanford, who were transferring to Fluor Hanford or companies under contract to Fluor Hanford in 1996.

The Energy Department awarded Fluor Hanford the contract to clean up the highly contaminated nuclear site in December 1996.

The list also included workers' Social Security numbers and birth dates, as well as work titles, assignments and telephone numbers.

The department began notifying workers about the discovery Sunday. Employees at seven companies were warned to monitor their financial accounts and billing statements for any suspicious activity.

There was no indication that Hanford's computer network was compromised. The Energy Department and Fluor Hanford were working with law-enforcement officials to determine how the list was obtained and why it was in the home, the Energy Department said in a statement Monday.

Also on Monday, Energy Department officials began contacting 1,502 individuals by phone to inform them that their Social Security numbers and other information may have been compromised when a hacker gained entry to a department computer system in September.

The workers, mostly contract employees, worked for the National Nuclear Security Administration, a semiautonomous agency within the department that deals with the government's nuclear-weapons programs.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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