ANALYSIS: Few answers provided regarding 'hack' into FMCSA registry website

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line associate editor | 2/1/2018

Two months have passed since the FMCSA National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners website was hacked.

During this time, little progress has been made to restore the website to full functionality. Even fewer answers have been provided.

Other than admitting that the Dec. 1 hack took place, the agency has been mostly silent on the situation.

The 79-word statement sent to Land Line on Jan. 5 revealed that there had been “unauthorized access to the system,” but the agency said its initial investigation determined “there was no evidence of exposure of the personal information of drivers, medical examiners, or motor carrier operators.” The FMCSA said that incident remained under investigation and that the agency was “working diligently to restore all impacted services to full functionality.”

Almost another month has passed without additional comment from the FMCSA.

No timeline has been provided for when the site is expected to be working again. In addition, the FMCSA has declined to answer any questions regarding the investigation or the potential problems that the site’s outage has caused to truck drivers and certified medical examiners.

  • How long was the website compromised?
  • What factors make the agency confident that there was no exposure to the drivers’ or motor carriers’ personal information?
  • Who is conducting the investigation?
  • Will the findings of the investigation be released to the public?
  • What steps are being taken to prevent a future breach?
  • Should drivers feel confident that their personal information is safe from future cyber attacks?
  • Is there any indication of who hacked the site or what motivated the breach?
  • Have any arrests been made?
  • How will the breach or the fact that the site has not been fully operational for two months impact truck drivers?
  • How much of a backlog has been created as CMEs are forced to hold on to the results of the DOT physicals until the site is operational?
  • Will the site’s outage impact CMEs who are due to be retrained?

All of these questions remain unanswered.

The lack of transparency is alarming. While there may be details of the investigation that can’t yet be revealed, the agency’s decision to not answer questions regarding the impact on drivers and medical examiners is puzzling at best.

Truck drivers, motor carriers, and certified medical examiners deserve to know for sure that their personal information is protected, and they need to be provided detailed information about how to proceed until the site is working again.

It’s time for the agency’s silence to end.

 

 

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