Office of the Chief Information Officer

United States Department of Agriculture

What To Do If You Think You’ve Been Breached

  • Step 1–Disconnect your computer from the network do not turn off
  • Step 2–Report the suspected incident to your supervisor
  • Step 3–The supervisor reports the suspected incident following Agency procedures to the Agency/Staff Office Information Systems Security Program Manager (ISSPM) or Office Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT).
  • Step 4–Agency/Staff Office ISSPM or CIRT notifies the ISC 24 Hour Hotline at 866-905-6890 or

Has Your System Been Breached?

Unfortunately, many different types of computer vulnerabilities are common in our technology-centered world. This means that breaches may show up in many different ways.

The most obvious sign of a breach is when a device no longer operates normally. Here are some signs for concern:

  • Performance suddenly slows down
  • Strange things pop up on the screen
  • Familiar application functions no longer work properly
  • Your browser homepage changes without intervention
  • Clicking on Google-provided links sends you to random pages
  • Your browser has trouble connecting to the Internet

The good news is that these symptoms aren’t always caused by a breach. But only an expert can tell, so you should report all such anomalies immediately.

Fighting Hidden Threats

Sophisticated, subtle threats can only be detected by experts or security technology:

  • ISC may alert the Agency/Staff Office ISSPM or CIRT of a breach
  • An intrusion detection device may identify an attack
  •  Anti-virus software may fire in response to malicious code
  • A security scan may detect a vulnerability on a server that is critical to your mission.