Full Scale Non-Stop Global Panic Update: Obama’s Cyber Meltdown Keeps Getting WorsePosted: June 23, 2015
When the Administration disclosed the OPM hack in early June, they said Chinese hackers had stolen the personal information of up to four million current and former federal employees. The suspicion was that this was another case of hackers (presumably sanctioned by China’s government) stealing data to use in identity theft and financial fraud. Which is bad enough.
Yet in recent days Obama officials have quietly acknowledged to Congress that the hack was far bigger, and far more devastating. It appears OPM was subject to two breaches of its system in mid-to-late 2014, and the hackers appear to have made off with millions of security-clearance background check files.
These include reports on Americans who work for, did work for, or attempted to work for the Administration, the military and intelligence agencies. They even include Congressional staffers who left government—since their files are also sent to OPM.
This means the Chinese now possess sensitive information on everyone from current cabinet officials to U.S. spies. Background checks are specifically done to report personal histories that might put federal employees at risk for blackmail. The Chinese now hold a blackmail instruction manual for millions of targets.
These background checks are also a treasure trove of names, containing sensitive information on an applicant’s spouse, children, extended family, friends, neighbors, employers, landlords. Each of those people is also now a target, and in ways they may not contemplate. In many instances the files contain reports on applicants compiled by federal investigators, and thus may contain information that the applicant isn’t aware of.
Of particular concern are federal contractors and subcontractors, who rarely get the same security training as federal employees, and in some scenarios don’t even know for what agency they are working. These employees are particularly ripe targets for highly sophisticated phishing emails that attempt to elicit sensitive corporate or government information.
The volume of data also allows the Chinese to do what the intell pros call “exclusionary analysis.” We’re told, for instance, that some highly sensitive agencies don’t send their background checks to OPM. So imagine a scenario in which the Chinese look through the names of 30 State Department employees in a U.S. embassy. Thanks to their hack, they’ve got information on 27 of them. The other three they can now assume are working, undercover, for a sensitive agency. Say, the CIA….(read more)
- Massive hack attack on US federal workers’ records compromised security clearance data (ibtimes.co.uk)
- Washington Arms Expo: We Won’t Comply With Unconstitutional Background Check Law (republicbroadcasting.org)
- Another Case of Background Checks and Volunteers (datacheckinc.com)
- OIG: Home Health Agencies need more consistent background checks (cmscompliancegroup.com)
- Justice Dept accuses firm that cleared Snowden of faking 665,000 background checks (hotair.com)
- Refresher Course: White House Promise of Immigration ‘Background Checks’ (punditfromanotherplanet.com)