Chuck Leaver – Biometric Data Compromised In OPM Breach

Written By Mike Hamilton And Presented By Ziften CEO Chuck Leaver



Increased Security Protection of Personal and Biometric Data Required After OPM Breach




Just recently, I had to go through a fairly substantial background check process. At the time it was among those circumstances where you sign into the portal, offer your social security number, a myriad of delicate info about you and your household, and trust the government (and their specialists) to take care of that personal data.

As I got back home the other evening and sat down to start writing this article, I looked at the stack of mail sitting on my desk and noticed one of those envelopes with the perforated edges that normally include sensitive details.

Naturally, you need to open those kinds of envelopes. Sadly at that time all of my worst fears had come true.

Exactly what I discovered was my very own letter detailing that basically every sensitive piece of details one might wish to know about me – as well as similar information on 21 million other Americans – was accessed during the OPM breach.


Oh, and by the way, there’s the issue that my biometric identity was likewise compromised:





At this point, even though “federal specialists” believe that it’s no big deal, my iPhone disagrees with them. Bruce Schneier composed an outstanding piece on this, so I won’t belabor the points he makes. But at some point we all need to ask some hard questions:

When is this going to stop?

Who is accountable for stopping it?

Who is going to really stop it?

Who is going to be held responsible when breaches happen?

These kinds of breaches are why at Ziften we are so passionately building our next-generation security tools. While we as a security community may never ever entirely stop or avoid these kinds of breaches from taking place, perhaps we can make them so much harder and time consuming. When you think about it, until the community says “this has to stop” this is going to continue to happen every day.


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