At a closed-door briefing for senators on Tuesday the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, Katherine Archuleta insisted that hackers only got away with the personal records of roughly 4.2 million current and past government employees. But acting assistant director for the FBI’s cyber division James Trainor stood up and defended a recent report from his boss, FBI Director James Comey, that said the number was actually closer to 18 million – a number based on OPM’s own internal reports.
Archuleta is scheduled to answer questions at a public hearing before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday. It’s hard to believe that Archuleta is going to be holding onto her job for very much longer, after all whether it’s 4.2 million or 18 million a data breach of either size is still unbelievably embarrassing.
I can’t imagine any Senator saying ‘if it was 18 million I’d be really upset, but since it’s only 4.2 million then I guess that’s not so bad.’
This whole fiasco is almost beyond understanding. Our own government has set the dogs loose to spy on U.S. citizens, essentially granting them the authority to hack into every aspect of our lives. And it doesn’t stop at our own borders. Snowden leaks are still coming out about massive hacking attacks launched by our own secret police forces against foreign governments, including those that were supposed to be our friends.
Now it turns out that other agents were doing the very same things (most likely agents sponsored by another government that was probably also on our ‘friends’ list.) While we were hacking them they were launching massive cyber-attacks against us.
The other irony is that in order to spy on our own citizens and people in other countries we had to develop very sophisticated cyber-warfare tools and become security experts, and yet our own spies didn’t warn the OPM that they might be vulnerable.
Perhaps I’m missing something here, but I was under the impression that the NSA, FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security and all the rest were supposed to be protecting us from attacks from bad guys – not just launching their own attacks.