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Category Archives: E-Records

Cyber Intrusion into U.S. Office of Personnel Management: In Brief

CRS – Cyber Intrusion into U.S. Office of Personnel Management: In Brief, July 17, 2015.

“On June 4, 2015, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) revealed that a cyber intrusion had impacted its information technology systems and data, potentially compromising the personal information of about 4.2 million former and current federal employees. Later that month, OPM reported a separate cyber incident targeting OPM’s databases housing background investigation records. This breach is estimated to have compromised sensitive information of 21.5 million individuals. Amid criticisms of how the agency managed its response to the intrusions and secured its information systems, Katherine Archuleta has stepped down as the director of OPM, and Beth Cobert has taken on the role of acting director. In addition, OPM’s Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP) application, the system designed to help process forms used in conducting background investigations, has been taken offline for security improvements. Officials are still investigating the actors behind the breaches and what the motivations might have been. Theft of personally identifiable information (PII) may be used for identity theft and financially motivated cybercrime, such as credit card fraud. Many have speculated that the OPM data were taken for espionage rather than for criminal purposes, however, and some have cited China as the source of the breaches. It remains unclear how the data from the OPM breaches might be used if they are indeed now in the hands of the Chinese government. Some suspect that the Chinese government may build a database of U.S. government employees that could help identify U.S. officials and their roles or that could help target individuals to gain access to additional systems or information. National security concerns include whether hackers could have obtained information that could help them identify clandestine and covert officers and operations.”

CRS Insights – OPM Data Breach

OPM Data Breach: Personnel Security Background Investigation Data. Michelle D. Christensen, Analyst in Government Organization and Management, July 24, 2015 (IN10327): “In a July 9, 2015, news release on the cyber-intrusions of its systems, OPM “concluded with high confidence that sensitive information, including the Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of 21.5 million individuals, was stolen from theContinue Reading

Statement by the ODNI on Retention of Data Collected Under Section 215 of USA PATRIOT Act

July 27, 2015: “On June 29, 2015, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved the Government’s application to resume the Section 215 bulk telephony metadata program pursuant to the USA FREEDOM Act’s 180-day transition provision. As part of our effort to transition to the new authority, we have evaluated whether NSA should maintain access to theContinue Reading

Hackers continue to leak federal government employee data

NextGov.com: “The group of hacktivists, Anonymous, claimed in a tweet on Wednesday they hacked the Census Bureau and leaked employee details online. The hack was in protest of TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), which is an agreement being negotiated between the U.S. and E.U. critics say would increase corporate power and make it moreContinue Reading

NIST – Securing Electronic Health Records on Mobile Devices

“Stolen personal information can have negative financial impacts, but stolen medical information cuts to the very core of personal privacy. Medical identity theft already costs billions of dollars each year, and altered medical information can put a person’s health at risk through misdiagnosis, delayed treatment or incorrect prescriptions. Yet, the use of mobile devices toContinue Reading

Summary of Agency Chief FOIA Officer Reports for 2015

Summary of Agency Chief FOIA Officer Reports for 2015 and Assessment of Agency Progress in Implementing the President’s FOIA Memorandum and Attorney General Holder’s FOIA Guidelines With OIP Guidance for Further Improvement “The 2015 Chief FOIA Officer Reports address efforts in improving FOIA administrations in five key areas tied to Attorney General Holder’s 2009 FOIAContinue Reading

Handing Over the Keys to the Castle

Handing Over the Keys to the Castle – OPM Demonstrated that Antiquated Security Practices Harm National Security. Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology. July 2015. “In this digital age, information is secured, coveted, and exfiltrated by nation states, hacktivists, and ambitious actors because, now more than ever, knowledge is power. Modern needs dictate that only authorizedContinue Reading

NSA collected and stored social media, email, chats of non targeted Americans

Via The Atlantic – “The Washington Post’s latest article drawing on Snowden’s leaked cache of documents includes files “described as useless by the analysts but nonetheless retained” that “tell stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes. The daily lives of more than 10,000Continue Reading

EPIC Urges Investigation of “Always On” Consumer Devices

“EPIC has asked the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice to conduct a workshop on ‘Always-On’ Consumer Devices. EPIC described the increasing presence of internet-connected devices in consumer’s homes, such as TVs, toys, and thermostats, that routinely record and store private communications. EPIC urged the agencies to conduct a comprehensive investigation to determineContinue Reading

History of the internet – 40 maps and key resources

For all those who do not recollect or may not know how the internet evolved from ARPANET in 1969 to the web of 2015 with its data analytics, e-commerce profiling and of course, global surveillance, I recommend 40 maps that explain the internet by Timothy B. Lee via Vox, posted on June 2, 2014: “TheContinue Reading

Information about OPM Cybersecurity Incidents

“OPM –  This site will be updated regularly. What happened How you may be affected What you can do What we are doing to help Frequently Asked Questions What Happened? OPM recently discovered two separate but related cyber-security incidents that have impacted the data of Federal government employees, contractors, and others: In April 2015, OPMContinue Reading

Commentary – Why Protecting Data Privacy Matters, and When

Data Science Central – (A Wake-Up Call to Data Geeks Who Doubt) by Anne Russell “It’s official. Public concerns over the privacy of data used in digital approaches have reached an apex. Worried about the safety of digital networks, consumers want to gain control over what they increasingly sense as a loss of power overContinue Reading