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OPM Cybersecurity Incidents

Tuesday July 14, 2015

What is it?

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently discovered two separate but related cyber-security incidents that have impacted the data of more than 21 million federal government employees, contractors, and others.

  • (1) In April 2015, OPM discovered that the personnel data of 4.2 million current and former federal government employees had been stolen. This means information such as full name, birth date, home address and Social Security numbers were affected.

  • (2) In early June 2015, OPM discovered that additional information had been compromised: including background investigation records of current, former, and prospective federal employees and contractors. OPM and the interagency incident response team have concluded with high confidence that sensitive information, including the Social Security numbers (SSNs) of 21.5 million individuals, was stolen from the background investigation databases. This includes 19.7 million individuals that applied for a background investigation, and 1.8 million non-applicants, primarily spouses or co-habitants of applicants.

What is the Army doing?

The Army is working to provide updates as soon as they are available regarding the recent incidents and actions being taken for those impacted. OPM’s new, online incident resource center offers information regarding the OPM incidents and directs individuals to materials, training, and useful information on best practices to secure data, protect against identity theft, and stay safe online.

An OPM call center will be opened to respond to questions and provide more information.

What continued efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?

The Army is working to provide all personnel, military and civilian, information as soon as it becomes available. OPM is developing a number of resources for those who may have been affected, or who have additional questions. OPM has partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate and determine the full impact to Federal personnel. Federal law enforcement agencies continue to investigate the matter and assist with remediation efforts.

OPM continues to take aggressive action to strengthen its broader cyber defenses and information technology (IT) systems, in partnership with experts from the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and its other interagency partners. As outlined in its recent Cybersecurity Action Report, in June, OPM identified 15 new steps to improve security, leverage outside expertise, modernize its systems, and ensure internal accountability in its cyber practices.

Why is this important to the Army?

Army is committed to helping those that have been impacted by these incidents, ensuring timely and accurate information will be posted as it becomes available and U.S. Army leaders will also communicate updates through a variety of channels. The Army is also committed to protecting the safety and security of the information of federal employees and contractors and safeguarding networks and data. The Army also wants its personnel that assistance is available and encourages use of those resources.


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