Updated numbers on OPM data breach reinforces need for diligence

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2015 | Employee Rights

If you thought the data breach at the Office of Personnel Management was bad before, you haven’t seen anything yet. When we posted about that debacle back in June, our main intention was to try to highlight that federal employees in Texas and elsewhere owe it to themselves to keep a close eye on their financial accounts.

The point we sought to make at that time was that the breach, purportedly brought about by a hack job by the Chinese, put the personal information of some 4 million current and former federal employees at risk.

Not only could they find themselves victims of identity theft with all its inherent headaches and risks, but they could also find themselves dealing with employee disciplinary disputes or even possible criminal charges for the actions of others over which they had no control.

Well, the waters have only gotten murkier since that post. It was recently revealed that the hacks suffered at OPM actually exposed the information of more than 22 million people. Those left vulnerable included the 4 million mentioned initially, but also contractors, federal job applicants and some of their family members and friends.

The OPM hacks have also cost another department head in the Obama administration her job. As readers likely well know because of the news stories on the matter, OPM Director Katherine Archuleta resigned last month under the mounting pressure.

She had been in the position for less than two years and had resisted calls for her resignation. She said the reason the breaches had been discovered was because of her efforts to bring the OPM computer systems into the 21st century. But in the end, the size of the loss was too great.