Millions of Federal Data Breach Victims Still in the Dark

The data breach that affected 21.5 million federal employees and contractors whose data was hacked are yet to be notified by the Govt., officials say.

The U.S. Govt. hasn’t notified any of the 21.5 million federal employees whose security clearance data was hacked earlier this year, reports Reuters.

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The Office of Personal Management (OPM), the targeted agency whose data confirmed that the Defense Department will “later this month” begin to notify affected employees and contractors in various arms of the Govt. The communication is expected to confirm the breach of personal data of millions of Federal employees, by hackers.

“We remain fully committed to assisting the victims of these serious cybercrimes and to taking every step possible to prevent the theft of sensitive data in the future,” said Beth Cobert, Acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management in a news release.

OPM also confirmed their mode of operation wherein notifications will continue over several weeks and that they “will be sent directly to impacted individuals.”

Spending on Identity Theft Protection

Furthermore, the OPM, in a statement, announced a contract worth over $133 million initially was awarded to a company specializing in being Identity Theft experts – Identity Theft Guard Solutions LLC.

The company is hired for the sole purpose of providing identity theft protections for all of the 21.5 million victims affected by the data breach. Services include credit and identity monitoring services for a period of three years minimally. The agency also confirmed identity theft insurance to all affected individuals and dependent children under the age of 18.

“Millions of individuals, through no fault of their own, had their personal information stolen, and we’re committed to standing by them, supporting them, and protecting them against further victimization.

“And as someone whose own information was stolen, I completely understand the concern and frustration people are feeling,” added Cobert.

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Despite the assurances, officials told Reuters that the breached data could is very likely to contain embarrassing personal details of employees. Information such as a history of drug use, arrest records and more are present due to field investigators who look into disclosures submitted by job applicants.

The White House has confirmed that a study looking into the possibility of shifting the responsibility of security clearance investigations from OPM is being undertaken.

The investigation following the breach reveal that state-sponsored Chinese hackers are likely to be behind the data hack. Despite the belief, U.S. Security officials have not found any evidence showing the nefarious usage of any of the hacked data by the Chinese or anyone else.