The finger-pointing has begun in the wake of news on Monday that hackers were able to get into the personnel files of 45,000 FAA employees. There was no breach of the computer systems that run the air traffic control system or any other critical systems but the security breakdown nevertheless raised some concerns. A total of 48 files were opened by the hacker and two of them contained the personal information of employees who were on the payroll as of February 2006. The data was copied from the files. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) says it warned the FAA this might happen and is not happy about being right.
NATCA President Pat Forrey said the union had "deep concerns" about the FAA's data security and tried to bring it up in contract negotiations but was rebuffed by the agency. "This is typical of the arrogance and lack of collaboration the agency has shown toward its employees. The FAA waited an entire week before notifying the unions that its members' personal information had been breached by a hacker," Forrey said. "This is indicative of the manner in which the FAA treats its employees." The agency says it will send all of the affected people a letter notifying them of the breach.