Hackers attack US Department of Energy

A hacker stole a file containing the names and Social Security numbers of 1,500 people working for the US Energy Department's nuclear weapons agency, an Associated Press report said.

The report said the data theft occurred in a computer system at a service center belonging to the National Nuclear Security Administration in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The file contained information about contract workers throughout the agency's nuclear weapons complex, a department spokesman, quoted by the Associated Press report, said.

NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks told a House hearing that he learned of the security breach late last September, but did not inform Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman about it. It had occurred earlier that month.

Brooks blamed a misunderstanding for the failure to inform either Bodman or Deputy Energy Secretary Clay Sell about the security breach, the report said