No one wants to be caught not doing their job, and no one wants to be linked to the biggest data theft in history. But, we are where we are, and it is what it is. Now the feds must fix the problem. We are having our bureaucratic butts handed to us, and our officials are talking about what we are going to do in a year. All the while China steals personal information on nearly every federal employee.
The Washington Times reports:
Hackers broke into the federal government’s human-resources agency last December, but U.S. officials didn’t discover the cyber-attack until April, the White House said Friday.
This means four months of free reign by these hackers. They could skip through the files of personal data undetected and unhindered. There is little doubt that if they had wanted every piece of information on these federal employees, it was just a keystroke away. They had as much access as the person whose job it was to manage the data.
“Based on what we know now, this intrusion into the OPM system occurred in December,” Mr. Earnest said. “The OPM detected this particular intrusion in April. It wasn’t until May that they were able to determine that some data may have been compromised and potentially exfiltrated.”
This basically means “pulled out or stolen.” Now that the damage is done, what is the OPM or the State Department going to do about this breach?
In the wake of the latest cyber-attack, administration officials said they are speeding up implementation of a computer defense software system known as “Einstein 3” to detect such attacks and prevent them. Mr. Earnest said the program, initially planned to be fully operational in 2018, now will be installed completely by sometime next year
Sometime next year? And they want control of the internet. It is likely that the government will be forced to continue to use the faulty system now in place, but this means that it may be another year of access for the Chinese, who, of course, neither confirms nor denies responsibility for the cyber-theft.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry wouldn’t confirm or deny its involvement in the hack.
“China itself is also a victim of cyberattacks,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said Friday in Beijing. “China resolutely tackles cyberattack activities in all forms.”
To translate, he simply means, “Nanna nanna boo boo, you can’t catch us.”
All the while, we continue to play footsie with the Chinese.
The Times reports:
Mr. Earnest said President Obama “of course” still plans to roll out the red carpet for Chinese President Xi Jinping with an official state visit at the White House in September. In light of this week’s revelations, the meeting will likely include more discussions about China’s role in cyberattacks.
And rather than blame China, Obama’s administration blames Congress.
The White House Friday blamed Congress for failing to act on cybersecurity legislation that Mr. Obama sent to lawmakers in January, including a requirement for all attacks to be disclosed by private companies or government agencies within 30 days.
Of course, Boehner retorts that the Democrats have blocked bills supported by the president.
A top aide to Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said House Republicans have “led the charge” on cybersecurity legislation, but Senate Democrats have stalled two House-passed measures that the White House supports.
“Where is the leadership?” said Boehner spokesman Cory Fritz. “The federal government has just been hit by one of the largest thefts of sensitive data in history, and this White House is trying blame anyone but itself. It’s absolutely disgusting.”
This bitter infighting and name calling among our leadership has not frightened away our enemies, but has emboldened them.