The latest high profile cyber attack involves over 4 million records of former and current government workers.
The U.S Office of Personnel Management said Thursday that it recently became aware of an incident where the records had been breached, including names, addresses, birthdates and social security numbers. From June 8 through June 19, OPM will be sending e-mails to the individuals whose personally identifiable information was compromised. The office says e-mails will come from [email protected] and will contain information about credit monitoring and identity theft protection services available to those affected by the breach.
According to its website, OPM is offering credit monitoring services and identity theft insurance with CSID, a firm that specializes in identity theft protection and fraud resolution. Individuals will receive, at no cost, a comprehensive, 18-month membership that includes credit report access, credit monitoring, identity theft insurance and recovery services.
OPM battles 2.5B attacks each month
OPM said it receives approximately 2.5 billion attacks in an average month. According to the FBI, Chinese hackers are believed to be behind this latest attack, which follows an attack by North Korea on Sony, and Russian attacks on the White House, State Department and the IRS. In February, health insurer Anthem revealed that close to 80 million of its records had been hacked.
The information stolen can be used to create new identities or at the very least apply for credit cards and other forms of credit such as opening bank accounts. Winton Krone, managing director ofKivu, a national technology firm specializing in the forensic response to data breaches and proactive IT security compliance, says “the government should act to make social security numbers, a government creation, less valuable to cyber thieves by mandating multi-factor authentication in credit applications and IRS transactions.”