Last week, federal officials announced that data of as many as 4 million former and current federal employees had been stolen.
Today, a government worker union said that the cyber theft of that information was more damaging than the Obama administration has acknowledged.
From the Associated Press:
J. David Cox, president of the American Federal of Government Employees, said in a letter to OPM director Katherine Archuleta that based on OPM’s internal briefings, “We believe that the Central Personnel Data File was the targeted database, and that the hackers are now in possession of all personnel data for every federal employee, every federal retiree, and up to one million former federal employees.”
The OPM data file contains the records of non-military, non-intelligence executive branch employees, which covers most federal civilian employees but not, for example, members of Congress and their staffs.
The union believes the hackers stole military records and veterans’ status information, address, birth date, job and pay history, health insurance, life insurance, and pension information; and age, gender and race data, he said. The letter was obtained by The Associated Press.
In the letter, Cox said, “We believe that Social Security numbers were not encrypted, a cybersecurity failure that is absolutely indefensible and outrageous.”
The union called the breach “an abysmal failure on the part of the agency to guard data that has been entrusted to it by the federal workforce.”
Exactly HOW MUCH data does the central personnel data file contain on each employee?
Up to 780 separate pieces of information. That’s astounding and disturbing.
The OPM (Office of Personnel Management) has been attempting to downplay the fiasco, and, according to Cox, “very little substantive information has been shared with us, despite the fact that we represent more than 670,000 federal employees in departments and agencies throughout the executive branch.”
Oh, and this:
The Office of Personnel Management is also a repository for extremely sensitive information assembled through background investigations of employees and contractors who hold security clearances. OPM’s Schumach has said that there is “no evidence” that information was taken. But there is growing skepticism among intelligence agency employees and contractors about that claim.
The breach happened in December and was detected in April.
Cox said that the 18 months of credit monitoring and $1 million in liability insurance that OPM has offered to impacted employees is “entirely inadequate, either as compensation or protection from harm.”
After the breach was announced, OPM signed a $20 million contract with a private cybersecurity company to provide identity-fraud protection services for affected employees, reports National Journal.
The government just can’t “internet,” can it?
Two days ago, the US Army’s website was hacked. The Syrian Electronic Army, a pro-Assad hacker group that has been critical of US foreign policy, took credit for the attack on Twitter, reported Joshua Krause.
In December 2014, it was revealed that the CIA hacked the Senate’s computers.
And the Obamacare websites had issues right out of the gate. Experts have said Healthcare.gov has “critical flaws,” and is at risk of “alarming security threats” and is shockingly easy to hack.
Oh, remember Obama was “unaware” of those problems? I guess he was unaware of just how big this recent data breach was too. Either that, or his administration intentionally downplayed it. But that’s sort of their modus operandi, isn’t it?
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Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”