FMCSA says investigation shows no personal information exposed during website hack

April 23, 2018

Mark Schremmer

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An investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Security Operations Center determined there is “conclusive evidence” that no personal information was exposed when the FMCSA’s National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners website was hacked on Dec. 1.

“The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is ensuring the stability of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners website, the security of the data, and the privacy of drivers and medical examiners,” the FMCSA said in a news release. “This is of paramount concern. There was an unsuccessful attempt by someone to compromise the website. It is conclusive that there was no personal information exposed.”

There was concern that if the license numbers of the medical examiners had been exposed that there would be the potential for fake medical certificates to be issued. The FMCSA said that the personal information of the drivers also wasn’t compromised.

The national registry website, which provides commercial motor vehicle drivers with a list of certified medical examiners who can conduct DOT physicals, has been down or “under construction” since the security breach on Dec. 1.

The agency said it is working to prevent a future breach of data.

“The Department of Transportation and the FMCSA is updating the national registry to ensure the most up-to-date security features are employed,” the FMCSA wrote in an email to Land Line.

Medical examiners, who were certified before the hack, have been able to continue conducting DOT physicals and issuing medical certificates (Form MCSA-5876) to qualified drivers. However, the nearly five-month outage has created a tremendous backlog of examination results that are waiting to be uploaded.

Based on the number of DOT physicals conducted in previous years, the backlog is estimated to be approaching 1.4 million.

The agency hasn’t provided a timeline for when it expects the website to be fully functional.

“The Department of Transportation and FMCSA are working diligently to deploy a fully functional and secure solution as quickly as possible,” FMCSA said.

Until then, drivers can search by ZIP code or registry number to find a certified medical examiner. Before scheduling an appointment, truck drivers can also use the OOIDA website to read reviews on certified medical examiners.

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Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.