Years Of United States Air Force Investigation Records Wiped Out Due To Computer Crash
More than 100,000 internal investigation records are reported to be in danger, as a database that hosts files from the U.S. Air Force’s inspector general and legislative liaison divisions got corrupted last month, rendering data created between 2004 and now useless, reported Defense One.
The database, called the Automated Case Tracking System, was run by defense firm Lockheed Martin. Neither Lockheed Martin nor the Air Force could provide an explanation as to why the database became corrupted or when they will be able to recover the information.
According to Defense One, the database was corrupted last month and the firm spent two weeks trying to recover data before informing the Air Force on June 6.
The Air Force has started looking for help from cybersecurity professionals at the Pentagon as well as from private contractors.
“We’ve kind of exhausted everything we can to recover within [the Air Force] and now we’re going to outside experts to see if they can help,” said Ann Stefanek, an Air Force spokeswoman at the Pentagon.
Air Force officials for now don’t believe that the crash was caused deliberately.
“[W]e’re doing our due diligence and checking out all avenues within the investigation to find out if there’s anything that we’re not aware of,” Stefanek said. “Right now, we don’t have any indication of that.”
Stefanek said the ACTS system included all kinds of personal information, such as complaints, the findings of an investigation, and any actions taken. The database also includes records of congressional and constituent inquiries.
Lockheed refused to provide any explanation to specific questions about the incident.
“We are aware of the data corruption issue in the Air Force’s Automated Case Tracking System (ACTS) and are working with the Air Force to identify the cause, and restore the lost data,” Maureen Schumann, a company spokeswoman, said in an email.
“[W]hen the system crashed, all those historical records were lost,” Stefanek said.
The delay in investigating the matter is caused as the data about current investigations has also been lost.
“The Air Force is assessing the immediate impact of the data loss, but at this time we are experiencing significant delays in the processing of inspector general and congressional constituency inquiries,” the service said in a statement.
It’s likely that where investigations initiated at local bases may have some data backed up.
“We’ve opened an investigation to try to find out what’s going on, but right now, we just don’t know,” Stefanek said.
Source: Defense One