Data breaches and data leaks have been far more common over the past few years than people give it credit for. Especially governments are known for their data breaches throughout the years. Although it is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason as to why governments are so vulnerable, this will not be the last time issues like these get major mainstream attention.We have taken a look at some of the biggest recent government data breaches.
3. USIS Data Breach
It is not uncommon most people have never heard of USIS, even though this was one of the largest contractors in the United States. To be more specific, the company is responsible for performing background checks for OPM. During the USIS data breach, details of over 25,000 Department of Homeland Security employees have been stolen.
It is not surprising to find an OPM immediately terminate the contract USIS once this breach became public knowledge. It was also the downfall for USIS, as the company went bankrupt shortly after. To this day, no one knows for sure what allowed these data breaches to happen in the first place. Government contractors are not given a second chance all that often, though, that much is certain.
The United States Office of personnel management is quite a valuable target for hackers all over the world. In fact, the government agency has dealt with multiple data breaches over the past few years. The first hack did not result in the loss of employee records, which is quite intriguing Instead, the hackers – widely believed to be a state-sponsored group in China – obtained OPM server documents. Thankfully, these documents were somewhat outdated, although it is possible they facilitated the second OPM hack.
In July of 2015, OPM fell victim to a data breach once again, resulting in 21.5m individuals having their Social Security information compromised. The vast majority of affected users were current or former federal employees and contractors. To make matters worse, a third breach occurred shortly after, another 4.2m employee personnel records were affected. OPM eventually paid over US$20m to offer victims a protection plan to ensure their details were not abused. A very troublesome development, that much is certain.
1. Double KeyPoint Security Breach
KeyPoint is an attractive target for hackers and criminals all over the world. This company replaced USIS to perform background checks for OPM, although they attract the wrong kind of attention pretty quickly. Over 50,000 DHS workers were affected by this breach, although it remains unclear if any data was effectively stolen in the process.
The second KeyPoint data breach occurred roughly one year later. A total of 390,000 employee records may have been compromised during this attack, although that was never confirmed by government officials. This second attack is believed to have led to the to the third OPM breach, as hackers used KeyPoint credentials to access the information they were looking for
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