Office of Personnel Management

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The Office of Personnel Management and Cybersecurity Breach

The Office of Personnel Management has received little appreciation from American residents over the years. It is part of the human resource unit and is responsible for hiring, compensation, and retirement income for the national government, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. In 2015, OPM disclosed two cases involving cyber security that compromised the data of public servants and contractors. Records containing background information on current, former, and potential state personnel and suppliers had been stolen. Sensitive data was tampered with, including the Social Security numbers of over 20 million people, accounts of interviews that included interviewees' thumbprints, usernames, and PINs for applicants. Some information on mental health and financial history of applicants was affected.

The Discovery of Security Breach

Brendan, a security engineer, was trying to decrypt Secure Sockets Layer through the organization's digital grid and noted his decryption struggles had revealed outbound movement from a site called which was not part of their territory. It had been created to mislead, giving hackers entrance to firm's servers for almost a year. In the previous year, OPM identified a break where designs for its web's construction had been tapped (Koerner, 2016).

The Involvement of Chinese Hacking Entities

Investigations pointed at Chinese speaking hacking entities. Theories speculate that the Chinese planned to employ agents or it was a plot to get impressions onto the hands of China moles so that they could hamper with biometric devices. Encrypted RAR file not deleted by attackers was found. The hackers probably used KeyPoint Government Solution which was breached in December 2014 to get permits essential to compromise OPM. The company had conducted background examinations of candidates for state jobs that required security approval. Once inside OPM, the attackers used the elimination method of trial and error to get the vital tools to connect Jumpbox with their PlugX variant. They began making demands on the 4th of July weekend to siphon data copied into hackers drives (Koerner, 2016).

The Impact on Government Employees

According to (Kelly, 2015), most of the government employees had their data compromised with the break affecting both present and past employees. The incident had a bad timing for some victims like Curtis who was getting acquitted with his new job of less than two weeks and was given the responsibility to head investigations on the attack. The victims received personal notifications on the intrusion with a promise of safety and credit monitoring services. Most them are upset and anxious because information not only affected them but also exposed their spouses, family members, and friends. Most live in fear for the coming years as hackers could use personal data to target persons working on subtle ventures and those vulnerable to enticements and intimidation due to financial destitution and other concerns.

The Importance of Vigilance and Protection

The U.S. workers must be vigilant if they decide to pursue foreign nations when cyber-crimes are performed for traditional spying purposes. It is essential to gauge theft for economic gain and the current international intellect activities. Hacking for monetary benefit is a degradation of international customs. The country may weaken war against financial crimes if we fail to realize the haze lines between infiltration for economic advantage and foreign intelligence prying. We must accept our shortcomings to protect private information and fortify our networks. It's commendable that the government has started to alleviate the harm in intelligence and counterintelligence areas as they will extensively weed out the issues. A CSID protection ought to be offered to the affected people (Nakashima, 2015).


Kelly, E. (2015, June 27th). OPM hack Q&A: What we know and what we don't. Retrieved from

Koerner, B. I. (2016, November 23rd). Inside the Cyberattack That Shocked the US Government. Retrieved from

Nakashima, E. (2015, July 9th). Hacks of OPM databases compromised 22.1 million people, federal authorities say. Retrieved from

May 10, 2023

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