Friday, June 26, 2015

InstaPoll: Government data breach

Congressman Randy Forbes


In April, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) first detected an intrusion affecting their systems. On June 4, 2015, OPM officially announced the cyber intrusion compromising personnel records. This sweeping cyber breach has impacted the personal data of current, former, and prospective federal employees, potentially exposing and putting at risk their personal and financial information. OPM has reported that an estimated 4 million were impacted by the data breach, while U.S. officials briefed on the investigation say the number could be closer to 18 million people affected. However, the full extent of the data breach, including who was affected and what information was accessed, is still unknown.

On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government hosted a hearing with OPM Director Katherine Archuleta and OPM Assistant Inspector General Michael Esser to discuss the cause of the massive breach. Director Archuleta stated that she does not believe, "anyone is personally responsible" for the breach and that the majority of the blame should be placed on old computer systems. Alternatively, Assistant Inspector General Esser stated the computer systems were modern and the source of the weakness was rather a lack of follow-through to improve the computers' security systems. On Wednesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform also held a hearing investigating the OPM data breach.

U.S. investigators believe there is evidence that the Chinese government could be behind the cyber-attack, which some consider to be the worst and most widespread cyber-attack ever carried out against the U.S. government. In the aftermath of the breach, many have raised concerns that U.S. security practices have not kept up with the latest hacking tactics and capabilities, leaving the United States exposed to potential attacks.

Question of the Week: In light of the recent OPM hack, are you concerned that the U.S. government is dangerously vulnerable to cyber-attacks?

(  ) Yes.
(  ) No.
(  ) I don't know.
(  ) Other.

Take the Poll here

Find the results of last week's InstaPoll here.

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