With the public eye still focused on how President Obama will deal with North Korea’s cyber-terrorist attack against Sony, which the administration acknowledged was really an attack on American freedoms, comes a report thathackers breeched into the files of as many as 40,000 federal workers. The incident occurred at KeyPoint Government Solutions, the firm responsible for conducting background investigations for federal workers at agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security.
Ironically, KeyPoint had only been awarded the lucrative $300 million contract when government contractor United States Investigations Services (USIS) suffered a major breach affecting up to 25,000 federal workers at the Department of Homeland Security. The cyber-attack was conducted by China. Technically speaking, USIS didn’t lose the contract as a direct result of the cyber-attack, but because of their unwillingness to adopt the counter-measures demanded by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). After the two sides could not come to an agreement, the contract was revoked and given to KeyPoint. The contract made KeyPoint become the federal government’s largest public clearance firm.
Sultan Alhokair says a review of the incident by the OPM has concluded that no serious data was compromised. That said, the 40,000 affected workers will be offered credit monitoring service free of charge. It has become an industry standard to offer affected people 90 days of free monitoring service following a security breech. Cyber-attacks against the government occurred 61,000 times last year which amount to roughly 167 daily attacks.