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CYBER ATTACK: China Steals 21 Million Federal Employee’s Personal Information

Archuleta_Katherine

OPM Director Katherine Archuleta

The Associated Press reports, “Hackers stole Social Security numbers, health histories and other highly sensitive data from more than 21 million people, the Obama administration said Thursday, acknowledging that the breach of U.S. government computer systems was far more severe than previously disclosed. The scope of the data breach — believed to be the biggest in U.S. history — has grown dramatically since the government first disclosed earlier this year that hackers had gotten into the Office of Personnel Management’s personnel database and stolen records for about 4.2 million people.”

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement regarding newly released details about the cyberattack against the Office of Personnel Management (OPM):

“OPM officials need to be held accountable and fired for what appears to be utter incompetence. While it is completely unacceptable that our federal databases containing such massive amounts of personal information on federal employees could be so vulnerable in the first place, it’s even more infuriating that this data was hacked seven months ago and the American people are only now being informed about it. This breach has jeopardized our national security because it has given our adversaries information about over 20 million people working for the federal government, including our military and personnel involved in sensitive intelligence functions as well as their families.

“The U.S. needs an offensive cyber capability that can serve as a strong deterrent against enemy state actors and cybercriminals, like those involved in this effort out of China. We also have much work to do to create the strongest possible cyber defenses to protect our government networks and ensure that the agencies handling important tasks such as security clearances are up to the challenge.

“But to be finding out about the extent of this December cyberattack only now is irresponsible and unacceptable. The American people, starting with the people who have had their data breached, deserve more candor, transparency and urgency from the Obama Administration. They’ve been sitting on this reality for seven months. People need to go, starting with the OPM director.”