The OPM hacks represent the hyper-personalization of war, writes Lauren C. Williams at ThinkProgress:
Heads have started to roll after the director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) resigned Friday, but the aftermath of the agency's massive data breach are far from over. The breach was one of two OPM experienced since 2014 -- one involved the loss of over 4 million Social Security Numbers, and the other exposed 21.5 million government background check records used for security clearances. Both breaches have been linked to the Chinese government.
China has held onto the seized employee data for a year, and there is no evidence the stolen data has been used. Information from typical breaches involving private companies, such as social media or retail sites, are used for phishing scams or financial gain. However, the agency's breach points more toward political leverage than identity theft for profit.
Cybersecurity legal consultant Paul Rosenzweig, who "holds a top secret security clearance and was personally affected by breach," comments that "It's everything:"
Everywhere I've lived for the last 10 years, where I went to school, every job I ever had, my 10 closest friends and coworkers -- supervisor included -- and their information. It's an in-depth biographical. If they actually lost my fingerprints, there goes my ability to be bio-metrically secure," he said, alluding to the iPhone's fingerprint-scanning Touch ID feature. [...]
For the 7 percent of the U.S. population caught in the OPM breach, he said, the effects are akin to "voluntarily giving up" everything the National Security Agency (NSA) wants to know.
Disturbingly, the piece notes that "The true extent of the OPM breach and its ramifications are still unknown, and hard to quantify."