Office of Personnel Management ("OPM")
Cyber Attack & Federal Employees' Data Breach Exposed with Details
Details on the Cyber Attack on OPM
There have been several recent state sponsored cyber attacks by countries like China. In 2015, Chinese hackers attacked the personnel and record files of more than 17 million federal employees - past, former, and current - who had ever applied for a background check.
This cyber attack affected millions of federal government employees’ private and personal data. Anyone who ever has worked with the federal government needs to be aware of the impact this breach will have on our nation's cybersecurity.
Transcript related to the OPM attack and how it affected Federal Employees; by leading expert on venture capital and cybersecurity, Ross Blankenship
This was one of the biggest breaches that the United States has ever seen in the history of our federal government. It's impossible to compare this to anything. For the sole purpose, that this happened back in April 2015, when the office of personal management, OPM as it's called, discovered a massive breach of cyber attackers who had infiltrated the networks and literally taken 4.5 million people, our personal data, their first names, last names, social security number, pretty much anything you wouldn't want revealed to a cyber attacker. In that discovery process when the FBI and NSA started to become involved, they also realized 2 months later or 3 months later in June, that actually this affected not just 4.5 million people but it actually affected nearly 20 million people who had ever had a background check done. This was a massive attack. It's a pretty certain that the Chinese government was responsible for the OPM attack. This is going to be something that American governments going to pay billions of dollars to repair.
The OPM attack shows just how vulnerable the United State is to cyber attacks, right. Even the United States government, which spends hundreds of millions of dollars on websites like healthcare.gov and billions of dollars each year on our military spending is missing the big picture. The biggest threats that we face as a nation today are cyber threats.
The ability for a country like China to attack us and to eliminate our power structure, to disrupt our internal networks and more importantly above anything else, to go to our federal employees work and steal their information. I don't think you could take anymore offense or anymore umbrage to anything beyond that. It's a wake up call. Number one, it's a wake up call that we need to not just spend money internationally but we need to start protecting our own government with the right cyber security defenses here at home.
The second thing that this did, in this cyber attack, is it really shows, I guess the importance of putting aside any sort of diplomatic relations. We've got to start calling things what they are, right? If it a cyber attack, call it a cyber attack. Call out the countries who are responsible for these attacks. I write about this in my book Cyber Nation. These foreign entities, primarily China which is the number 1 purveyor of website attacks on American soil. We've got to start being honest with the American people and against these countries so that we can start defending ourselves from cyber attacks.
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