What You Need To Do After the OPM Breach
The breach of security at the UP Office of Personal Management is not bad, it is worse than you ever could know – and then a bit more. 14 million SF 86 Forms and supporting documentation was breached and appear to have been copied. In hard copy it is estimated that the stack of paper would be 175 miles high! That height is beyond the minimum requirement for low earth orbiting satellites. Yes – they got everything. It is believed to be the Chinese who have the records.
So what can be done today?
- Put and ID Theft altert on your credit report.
- Get a new drivers License with a new Number
- Get a new Passport with a new number.
- If you can redirect your mail to a post office box – a real US Post Box – do it.
- Change your email address and passwords.
- Change access to personal accounts.
- Altert those with your financial records and medical records of the theft and of any new address or ID numbers you may now possess.
- If and when you travel overseas – take a different phone and a different computer with you.
- Encrypt your data and use secure lines of communication.
Yes, it really is that bad.
The issue of the theft for most will slowly go away over time. As the stolen information becomes stale – so will its usefulness.
The people who stole the data can use it to compromise high security people as well as allow criminals to make use of the information to steal a person’s ID who possess a top level security clearance. Why attack a person when you can sell their data to a criminal and let the criminals destroy them.
The stolen data can not only compromise you today, but for some years to come. If you worked for the US Government and travel to any country that has that information – be they hostile, belligerent, or aggressively curious – a foreign nation can target you for espionage and/or detention. Long after you may leave government service – you knowledge can still be of use. Those in security positions may have to now forgo any foreign travel for some period of time, especially to nations friendly to China.