Citing FBI officials, The Associated Press reported that the e-mail system is run by a private company and is used for sharing non-sensitive information with the public.
CBS News also reported that the accounts use the fbi.com domain name and that the FBI bought at least a portion of the affected accounts from AT&T.
The e-mail system used for communicating on case files, internal information and classified information was unaffected, according to a special agent from the FBIs Atlanta office cited by the AP.
A spokesperson at the FBIs national office refused to confirm with eWEEK.com the details of the AP report and e-mail outage. Calls to the FBIs Atlanta office were not immediately returned.
The AP reported that the FBI also is in the process of switching e-mail accounts.
News of the potential e-mail security breach follows a report released Thursday that criticized the FBIs management of its IT systems. The Department of Justices Inspector General specifically reported that an FBI automated case management system called the Virtual Case File would need to be scrapped or undergo significant work.
The FBI responded by saying it was disappointed with delays in the case-management system but said the bureau was improving its IT management.