The Thinker: Rich Galen

  
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Mullings by Rich Galen ®
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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Office of Personnel Mismanagement

Rich Galen

Thursday June 25, 2015

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  • I got my letter from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) alerting me that I might/could/probably/was included in the 4/8/18/32 million records that are now being pored over like the White House travel staff's in Hillary Clinton's office.

  • The U.S. government believes the Chinese government is behind this.

  • This hack was originally reported by the Democratic Administration of President Barack Obama included the social security numbers, dates of birth and - for all we know our mothers' maiden names - of people who not only worked in some branch of the federal government, but had ever applied for a job with some branch of the federal government.

  • When the government of Democrat Barack Obama (I won't do that any more; just wanted to make a point) finally 'fessed up to the hack they denied that any records containing background information for security clearances had been stolen.

  • Naturally, they were lying.

  • In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, the hackers had,
    "gained access to secret background investigations conducted on current and former employees, senior administration officials said Friday-an ominous development in the recent theft of federal data, one of the largest in history."

  • Those records are 120+ page forms that require you to list (at least in the olden days) every place you've ever lived, every job you've ever had, every trip overseas you've ever taken and contact with every foreigner you've ever met.

  • I am not overstating this. The only example of being more intrusive is the oral interrogation you have to go through to get on a plane at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel.

  • I have had security clearances in my life, and thus, have filled out that form. My highest clearance, I think, allowed me to drive by myself, at night, on lighted roads, but only if I was wearing my glasses.

  • I don't think a Chinese guy is copying down the address of my dorm at Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio 45750. For starters it was torn down sometime after my 7 year undergraduate career. But, my data, like everyone else's includes names and addresses of other people who I had to list in the course of filling out the form (or being interviewed) as part of the process.

  • And, it won't stop with this breach. As the Washington Times reported:
    "A Congressional hearing was held just hours after a cybersecurity firm reported that it found federal employees' login and password information littered across the Internet and said dozens of agencies were vulnerable to the same kind of hack that befell the OPM."

  • Why? Because just like you federal employees use "the same login and password combination" (and have the same maiden name for their mothers) for the many sites that require it. Including computers on a federal network.

  • Tell the truth. Is the login and password for your on-line bank site the same as the one for your Facebook account? I thought so.

  • So, I got this letter from the contractor that OPM has hired to keep track of everyone who was hacked. I can opt into their program of making sure that the information that was already stolen because of (what I hope will be considered criminal) mismanagement at OPM is not used to hack into my Bank of America checking account thus putting the $17.43 I have stashed there at risk.

  • But, to do that I would have to provide the outside contractor with all the same information - Name, SSAN, and DOB (and, I presume, my..mother's..maiden..name).

  • The Chinese won't want this information. They already have it. But I guarantee you there are some Russian guys sitting in a smoke-filled room at the Edward Snowden Institute for Electronic Surveillance trying to get into that contractor's system.

  • This is something President Obama can't blame on the administration of George W. Bush. This is all on him.

  • And, this is what happens when we elect a President who has zero experience in managing anything: The Office of Personnel Mismanagement.

    LAD LINK: Reed's weekly column, today looking at where the race for the nomination stands at about the half-way point. It's very good.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the Hillary Travel Office crack, and to the Wall Street Journal.

    Also the Mullfoto of the working definition of "redundant."

    -- END --

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