June 5, 2015

"4 million current and former federal employees, from nearly every government agency, might have had their personal information stolen by Chinese hackers..."

"... U.S. investigators said."

On the up side, at least they noticed.

"An assessment continues, and it is possible millions more government employees may be affected."

They noticed the part they noticed.

40 comments:

Patrick said...

Maybe among the problems is that there are 4 million federal employees.

MayBee said...

I find myself bemused this happened shortly after Obama announced he was putting pressure on *companies* to ensure cyber security for their customers.

It's always so easy to demand someone else do something, isn't it? The government seems very good at that.

Anonymous said...

A sharply worded statement from Josh Ernest should rectify this.

Larry J said...

Back in the 1950s, there was a famous bank robber named Willie Sutton. The story (which was actually fabricated by a reporter) was that when asked why he robbed banks, he replied, "That's where the money is."*

Many businesses and government agencies keep a lot of information about their customers and employees. They do this in part because that data has value. That personal identification is worth a great deal of money to identity thieves. "That's where the money is", so it isn't surprising that hackers are going after it. When a commercial company gets hacked, it can cost a great deal to remediate the attack. Not only is there increased security costs, they often have to pay for credit monitoring for those whose identity was stolen and perhaps the costs of replacing their credit cards. It's much worse when things like social security numbers are stolen because the potential for damage is far greater. It happened to me a few years ago and it took months to resolve things.

*Because that quote became so associated with Willie Sutton, he used it as the title for his autobiography. The same thing happened with Apollo Flight Director Gene Kranz. He never said, "Failure is not an option" about Apollo 13 but it was a good line in the movie and he used it as the title for his autobiography.

Fabi said...

Obama's going to be upset when he hears about this incident on the nightly news.

Psota said...

Please tell me we've been doing the same and worse in return.

Bob Boyd said...

How do the Chinese know if their system has been hacked?

Chinese checkers.

lemondog said...

The hacking is one-way, I'm sure....

James Pawlak said...

I cannot but wonder about "Insiders" in the pay of the PRC.

MadisonMan said...

But the Clintons mail server was secure, so there is that.

rhhardin said...

Who remembers that 1040 tax booklets used to be mailed to everybody with the SS number on the address label?

The problem started when everybody started violating the law by using the SS number for identification other than for tax purposes. Before that the SS number had no market use.

But it's really convenient for businesses and credit agencies, if not for you. The end of know your customer.

MadisonMan said...

Add an apostrophe there, please.

(Goes to sip coffee)

traditionalguy said...

Lots of stuff arising from our new Chinese overlords. But the real question today seems to be if China builds Islands off the California coast, do they get to claim all of the oil and gas under the sea there?

Lyle said...

I am afraid, I hope wrongly, that our government has a hard time hiring patriotic counter-hackers worth their salt.

Laslo Spatula said...

Naked selfies of Federal Workers soon to flood the Internet.

Some of them might be hot. Could be.


I am Laslo.

madAsHell said...

#GiveBackOurData

Michael K said...

Maybe it's time to stop using affirmative action to hire government programmers.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I hope I live long enough to see things put back to the way they ought to be and the word "hacked" used only to refer to things like chicken.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Back in about 1990, my company received a test data file from a federal government customer, for us to use in stress-testing a custom document management system. One day I walk into the lab to chat with the engineering lead, and he says "Check this out" and hands me a stack of paper from the printer.
Each page had about 100 names, various code numbers, and Social Security numbers. They were military retirement records. The whole file had about 200,000 records in plain text. No encryption or anything. Just brilliant....
We informed the customer, purged the file, and securely shredded the hardcopy.

Sebastian said...

At least O is making the government transparent, to the Russians and Chinese.

The Drill SGT said...

This is a huge deal. OPM runs what is called the e-QIP system, which is the online tool that Feds, Military, and Contractors use to complete their SF-86 forms (security clearance). A huge trove (mine, which I redid last month is 34 pages long) of personal data about;
- identifying info
- passports, and travel
- family, friends, neighbors,
- debts
- criminal history, etc, etc

break into that and you own the lives of 40 million citizens...

Rick said...

On NPR this morning someone claimed this will cause the government to completely revamp their data architecture to enhance security. Apparently they are unaware various agencies have tried this and the projects were all scrapped after years and billions. This idea there's some quick fix is flat wrong. These things take decades to fix, and given the vast number of agencies required to interact I'm not sure it can ever be done.

I'm interested to know if Obamacare - via its need to interact with various other government databases in real time, and its hasty, weak architecture with sloppy security - had anything to do with this breach.

Interesting,not crazy said...

Why should we believe it was the Chinese? According to our competent Government, which never lies to us ,it is always the Chinese, the Russsians or North Korea.

Just an old country lawyer said...

Four MILLION, and that's not all of them? Dear God.

The Drill SGT said...

Just an old country lawyer said...
Four MILLION, and that's not all of them? Dear God.


that they know of.

Anonymous said...

It's easier to hack into our systems when our top officials decide they need their own servers to access Email accounts.

Hack into those servers, from there, it's not much of a jump to more compromised information.

Thanks Hillary.

How many other top officials in this administration have their own private servers?

Michael K said...

"had anything to do with this breach."

Of course not. Comrade, you have been found insufficiently supportive of the state.

DanTheMan said...

So, if we ask nicely, will the Chinese give us Hillary and Lois Lerner's missing emails?

Rusty said...

In my best Nelson Muntz, HA HA!

Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TreeJoe said...

The state of affairs today: The U.S. government announces an act of espionage/war against us by a foreign nation, announces it will fix the problem, no follow-up ever occurs or is reported in the press.

Announcing this was tracked back to Chinese Government after a 1 month investigation is an act of war that demands an immediate and measured response to deter such activity and penalize such behavior.

This isn't like this happened yesterday - the government has known about this for at least 1 month per CNN.

So where's the strategy to respond?

Coupe said...

None of this would be happening if we were still using secretaries, typewriters, and carbon paper. None of this would be happening with a postage stamp and a mailman to deliver the mail.

All this is happening, because we want to communicate at the speed of light. Where such communication, for the most part, is unnecessary.

The bad thing about computers, is the technology is greater than humans are capable of managing. Typewriters are at the edge of human evolution right now.

lemondog said...

Ed Snowden,

we are sorry.

Please came home.

We neeeeeed you......

Signed: US Government

Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

"It is not clear what the purpose of the database is," write Kevin Liptak and Theodore Schleifer.

So no journalists at CNN have watched "The Lives of Others"? James Bond movies? "J. Edgar"? Austin Powers, fer crap's sake?

McDonald's may not have the lead on employing robots.


Seeing Red said...

Ohhh, our health care info is SAFE! Along with our Tax info!

Seeing Red said...

Our boarders are lax, so what difference, at this point, does it make?

Dave in Tucson said...

> On the up side, at least they noticed.

That's a saddeningly low bar to clear. This is the type of thing that needs to be brought up early and often the next time liberals decide the way to solve a problem is to put the government in charge of another big chunk of our economy.

Mountain Maven said...

"Please tell me we've been doing the same and worse in return."

Please fry an essential Chicom network and get the NYT to run the story above the fold.

hombre said...

Oh no. They have their tax delinquency record and plan to turn them in for the rewards. The IRS is poised and waiting. LOL.