Charles Leaver – Biometric Data Comprised By OPM Breach The Personal Impact

Written By Mike Hamilton And Presented By Ziften CEO Charles Leaver


Greater Security of Personal and Biometric Data Required Following OPM Breach



Recently, I had to go through a relatively extensive background check process. At the time it was among those situations where you sign into the portal, provide your social security number, a plethora of sensitive information about you and your household, and trust the federal government (and their contractors) to look after that individual data.

As I got home the other night and took a seat to begin composing this blog post, I took a look at the stack of mail laying on my desk and saw one of those envelopes with the perforated edges that usually consist of sensitive information.

Naturally, you need to open those types of envelopes. Unfortunately at that moment all my worst concerns had come to life.

Exactly what I discovered was my very own letter detailing that essentially every delicate piece of information one might wish to know about me – along with similar info on twenty one million other Americans – was accessed during the OPM breach.




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





At this point, although “federal experts” think that it’s not a major issue, my iPhone disagrees with them. Bruce Schneier composed an outstanding piece on this, so I won’t belabor the points he makes. But eventually we all need to ask some difficult questions:

When is this going to cease?

Who is accountable for stopping it?

Who is going to actually stop it?

Who is going to be held accountable when breaches occur?

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 entirely stop or avoid these kinds of breaches from happening, perhaps we can make them a lot harder and time consuming. When you think about it, till the community says “this has to stop” this is going to continue to take place every day.