As many as 21.5 million federal employees’ security clearance data has been hacked. The United States government has so far not intimated any of the federal employees whose security clearance data were hacked and the hacking has taken place more than 3 months ago. This is a sad state of affairs as no federal employee is sure as to whether his or her data has been hacked or not.
The information that the employees have not been intimated about their account hacking was confirmed by the government officials. The Office of the Personnel Management (OPM) is the agency whose data have become a soft target for the hackers and has been hacked easily. The OPM has said that the Defense Department will be starting to notify the employee and contractors whose accounts have been compromised later this month.
The notifications will be sent for several weeks until all the 21.5 million account users are informed and all notifications about the hacking will be sent directly to the impacted staff. The OPM has also now hired a contractor to take care of the credit ratings and to protect the identities of the employees whose personal data and information was hacked.
OPM has said that it has awarded a contract to a company called Identity Theft Guard Solutions, LLC to identify the security data breach of the 21.5 million employees. The contract is for more than $133 million. This company will offer identity monitoring services and credit monitoring services for three years. It will also take care of the identity theft insurance for the affected employees and for their dependent children who are under 18 years of age.
Some of the details that could have been compromised are: information about drug use, arrest records, personal details, security data, etc. The United States investigators who are looking into this federal employee’s security data breach is looking at possibilities of hackers were from China and also could be connected to the Chinese government. There is no concrete evidence to prove their point that the Chinese or other people have tried to make use of the hacked data for evil purposes.
The White House has said that it is looking at the odds of shifting the responsibility of the security clearance data investigations from the OPM to any other government agency. This mega hack of personal data is a pretty serious issue and keeping the millions affected in the dark for such a long time will not do any good for the government. This hack is the second largest breach of federal employee data in the recent years.