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July 10, 2015

Hackers Stole Data on 8% of U.S. Population From OPM

The data breach at the Office of Personnel Management feels like some kind of twisted auction. In early June, it was the data of four million federal employees. Any higher? Hey, it’s the middle of June and the number has risen to 14 million and the applications of everyone seeking a security clearance. Going, going… Wait, OPM announced Thursday there was a second hack affecting 21.5 million Americans who worked for the government, contracted with the government, or were married to or friends with someone who was. Not only were Social Security numbers, names and birthdates taken, the hackers (probably from China) have addresses, mental health history, some financial records and fingerprints of a significant percentage of the American population. The breach extends to people like FBI Director James Comey, who admitted he, too, had his data stolen in the breach. OPM said taxpayers would foot the bill for three years of identity-theft protection from a private company for those affected. But for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, it’s not enough. In a statement, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) said he wanted OPM Director (and former National Political Director for Obama’s campaign) Katherine Archuleta gone. “The technological and security failures at the Office of Personnel Management predate this director’s term,” Warner said, “but Director Archuleta’s slow and uneven response has not inspired confidence that she is the right person to manage OPM through this crisis.”

Update: OPM Director Katherine Archuleta resigned Friday. Translation: Somebody had to be fired.

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