July 21, 2015
This article is in response to the news of the OPM hack.
In news during early July, it was announced that the US government’s Office of Personnel Management had been hacked over the past year. The result is that about 21-22 million people’s records have been compromised, most likely to an unfriendly nation. The Office of Personnel Management contained the federal documents of all of its employees and affiliates who applied for background checks for security clearance. These background checks contain information such as the person’s Social Security Number, addresses, personal history, family, and so forth. The news of the OPM hack shows how lacking the government has been in securing such sensitive information, and thus in securing its citizens.
I want to make this quick so it doesn’t seem like I’m ranting aimlessly so here goes:
The OPM’s security has been called into question before the discovery of the attack and little or nothing was done to address the concerns
The hack has occurred for more than a year as the first know infiltration of the OPM database occurred around March 2014
The security of OPM relied on contractors, calling into question if having outside help attributed to the security issues of OPM
No one is quite sure who is responsible for compromising the database
Here’s how I see it plain and simple: the government needs to invest more resources in hiring and maintaining intelligent in-house IT employees and make sure they can keep crucial databases secure and up-to-date. Anything less and breaches like this will continue to happen and all of the nation’s data concerning national security might as well be posted on Reddit.