Charles Leaver – The Preventable OPM Breach Caused Compromise Of Biometric Data

Written By Mike Hamilton And Presented By Ziften CEO Charles Leaver


Greater Security Protection of Personal and Biometric Data Required After OPM Breach




Recently, I had to go through a relatively comprehensive background check process. At the time it was one of those circumstances where you sign into the portal, provide your social security number, a plethora of delicate info about you and your household, and trust the federal government (and their specialists) to take care of that personal data.

As I got back home the other evening and sat down to begin composing this blog post, I looked at the stack of mail laying on my desk and discovered one of those envelopes with the perforated edges that generally contain sensitive information.

Obviously, you need to open those types of envelopes. Sadly at that moment all my worst concerns had actually come to life.

Exactly what I discovered was my personal letter detailing that basically every delicate piece of details one might want to know about me – along with similar info on 21 million other Americans – was accessed during the OPM breach.




Oh, and incidentally, there’s the problem that my biometric identity was likewise compromised:




At this moment, although “federal professionals” believe that it’s not a major issue, my iPhone disagrees with them. Bruce Schneier composed an exceptional piece on this, so I will not belabor the points he makes. But at some point all of us have to ask some tough questions:

When is this going to stop?

Who is responsible for stopping it?

Who is going to in fact stop it?

Who is going to be held responsible when breaches occur?

These kinds of cyber attacks are why at Ziften we are so passionately developing our next-generation security tools. While we as a security provider may never entirely stop or prevent these kinds of breaches from occurring, perhaps we can make them so much more difficult and time consuming. When you think about it, till the community states “we can’t take anymore” this is going to continue to take place every day.

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