Chuck Leaver – OPM Breach Causes Biometric Data Compromise

Written By Mike Hamilton And Presented By Ziften CEO Charles Leaver



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





Just recently, I had to go through a reasonably extensive background check process. At the time it was among those circumstances where you sign into the portal, supply your social security number, a myriad of delicate details about you and your family, and trust the government (and their contractors) to take care of that individual data.

As I got back home the other night and took a seat to start composing this post, I looked at the stack of mail laying on my desk and saw one of those envelopes with the perforated edges that typically include sensitive details.

Naturally, you need to open those types of envelopes. Sadly at that time all my worst fears had become a reality.

What I discovered was my personal letter detailing that basically every sensitive piece of information one may want to know about me – along with comparable information on 21 million other Americans – was accessed during the OPM breach.


Oh, and incidentally, there’s the issue that my biometric identity was likewise jeopardized:






At this moment, despite the fact that “federal experts” believe that it’s not a major issue, my iPhone disagrees with them. Bruce Schneier composed an exceptional piece on this, so I will not belabor the points he makes. However eventually we all need to ask some hard questions:

When is this going to stop?

Who is accountable for stopping it?

Who is going to in fact stop it?

Who is going to be held responsible when breaches occur?

These kinds of cyber attacks are why we at Ziften are so passionately constructing our next-generation security tools. While we as a security community may never entirely stop or prevent these types of breaches from taking place, perhaps we can make them a lot harder and time consuming. At the end of the day, till the community states “this has to stop” this is going to continue to take place every day.