OPM Breach Causes Biometric Data Compromise That Affected Millions – Charles Leaver

By | January 6, 2016

Written By Mike Hamilton And Presented By Ziften CEO Charles Leaver


Increased Security Protection of Personal and Biometric Data Is Needed Following OPM Breach



Recently, I needed to go through a relatively extensive background check process. At the time it was among those circumstances where you sign into the website, provide your social security number, a plethora of delicate info about you and your family, and trust the government (and their contractors) to take care of that personal data.

As I got home the other evening and sat down to start composing this article, I took a look at the stack of mail laying on my desk and noticed one of those envelopes with the perforated edges that generally include sensitive info.

Of course, you need to open those types of envelopes. Unfortunately at that time all my worst concerns had become a reality.

What I discovered was my very own letter detailing that basically every sensitive piece of details one may wish to know about me – along with comparable information on 21 million other Americans – was accessed throughout the OPM breach.




Oh, and incidentally, there’s the problem that my biometric identity was likewise jeopardized:




At this moment, although “federal professionals” believe that it’s no big deal, my iPhone disagrees with them. Bruce Schneier composed an exceptional piece on this, so I won’t belabor the points he makes. However at some time we all need to ask some tough questions:

When is this going to stop?

Who is accountable for stopping it?

Who is going to actually stop it?

Who is going to be held responsible when breaches occur?

These types of breaches are why we at Ziften are so passionately developing our next-generation security tools. While we as a security community may never ever completely stop or prevent these kinds of breaches from taking place, maybe we can make them a lot harder and time consuming. At the end of the day, till the community states “enough is enough” this is going to continue to occur every day.

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