Office Of Personnel Management Director Steps Down Following Massive Data Breach Affecting 21M People

Yesterday, the Office of Personnel Management – essentially the federal government’s giant human resources office – announced that 21 million current and former employees, as well as prospective employees, their families and others who applied for federal background investigations in the last 15 years were the latest victims of hackers. Today, the head of that agency announced she would no longer be leading the department.

The Wall Street Journal reports that OPM director Katherine Archuleta resigned her post shortly after officials revealed that the hack was five times larger than originally disclosed.

In a resignation letter to President Barack Obama, Archuleta said it was in the best interest of OPM that she step aside and allow the office to move forward with new leadership.

“I conveyed to the president that I believe it is best for me to step aside and allow new leadership to step in, enabling the agency to move beyond the current challenges and allowing the employees at OPM to continue their important work,” Archuleta said in a statement to the WSJ.

The White House announced Friday that the President had accepted Archuleta’s resignation and that Beth Colbert, the U.S. U.S. chief performance officer and deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, would become the agency’s acting director starting on Saturday.

“Given the urgent and significant challenges that are facing OPM right now, a new manager with a specialized set of skills and experiences is needed,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Friday.

On Thursday, OPM said that if an individual underwent a background investigation in 2000 or after, it is “highly likely that the individual is impacted by this cyber breach. If an individual underwent a background investigation prior to 2000, that individual still may be impacted, but it is less likely.”

Of the 21.5 million individuals affected in the breach, 19.7 million simply applied for a background investigation, while about 1.8 million non-applicants – predominantly spouses and co-habitants of applicants –were victims of the breach, OMP says.

In some cases, compromised information includes interviews conducted by background investigators and approximately 1.1 million compromised profiles include fingerprints.

OPM said that information regarding mental health or financial histories provided by those that have applied for a security clearance and by individuals contacted during the background investigation were not affected by the breach.

There is no information at this time to suggest any misuse or further dissemination of the information that was stolen from OPM’s systems, the agency states.

OPM Director Katherine Archuleta Resigns After Massive Personnel Data Hack [The Wall Street Journal]

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