USDA data breach: 150,000 at risk

Department of Agriculture to offer free year of credit monitoring to those potentially exposed by government Web site.

NEW YORK ( -- The Department of Agriculture said Friday it will offer a year of free credit monitoring to individuals whose personal information was publicly available on a government Web site.

The Web site contained private identifying information on about 47,000 recipients of funding from the Farm Services Agency and USDA Rural Development, the Agriculture Department said in a statement.

The department said it was notified of the problem on April 13 and promptly removed the personal information.

While there aren't any signs that the information on the site was misused, the department said it was providing the credit monitoring service in case information was downloaded from the Web site before the department was made aware of the problem.

The Agriculture Department said that as many as 150,000 people whose personal details were entered into a federal government database over the past 26 years could have been exposed by the Web site.

The department is in the process of notifying all of the individuals who may be at risk and is offering free credit monitoring to all of them, the statement said. Top of page