In a hacking attack which was discovered in April 2015, personal data of around 4 million federal employees were stolen. The breach occurred at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) which is one of the federal government departments. The breach is being investigated by the FBI and the Computer Emergency Readiness Team of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
According to a statement from OPM which was published on their website, the breach of data was identified earlier this year when OPM was implementing measures to improve its cyber security. OPM now plans to notify all 4 million of their employees between 8th June and 17thJune. OPM is planning to offer these 4 million employees protection from identity theft and credit monitoring. Also, there might be a need to inform more employees in the near future if the investigations reveal that the data breach is more extensive.
Katherine Archuleta said in a statement that OPM gives utmost priority to protecting the data of Federal employees from such cyber-attacks and the responsibility of protecting critical and sensitive information is taken seriously at OPM. She also stated that OPM in coordination with other Federal agencies has been constantly trying to identify such threats and eliminate them in order to protect the important information stored with OPM.
Though OPM is yet to confirm the source of the attack, according to the Washington Post, it is believed that the attack has its origin in China. In a similar attack in July 2014, the computer systems at OPM were hacked and the breach was attributed to Chinese hackers. The current information breach is the second major attack by Chinese hackers on OPM systems in less than a year.