Republican lawmakers were calling for the Office of Personnel Management director’s head today after it was revealed that the data breach affected more than five times as many people as originally reported.
In June, OPM said they “recently became aware of a cybersecurity incident affecting its systems and data that may have compromised the personal information of current and former Federal employees.”
OPM sent notifications “to approximately 4 million individuals whose Personally Identifiable Information was potentially compromised in this incident.” Those affected were offered a free 18-month credit monitoring membership.
Today, that number was updated to 21.5 million affected people.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) called the revelation “a further example that President Obama allows gross incompetence to run rampant within his administration.”
“The president’s handling of the OPM data breach is nothing short of breathtaking in its inadequacy,” Scalise said. “Considering this gross incompetence, the American people deserve accountability, so I am calling on President Obama to fire the OPM Director [Katherine Archuleta] and take immediate action to protect the information of all those Americans who have been placed at risk.”
“Over the past few weeks, news of the OPM data breach has gone from bad, to worse, to absolutely inexplicable,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said. “Not only does this data breach compromise sensitive personal information and threaten our national security, today’s announcement shows OPM was completely unaware of the scope of what was stolen in the first place, which begs the question as to the competence of past, current, and future cybersecurity measures OPM has recommended and is implementing.”
“Public trust in how our government is run is already low, and any resolution to this massive data breach and theft can only happen with new leadership at the OPM immediately. Only with new leadership can we get a full accounting of what happened and, most importantly, how to prevent this from ever happening again.”
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) reminded all that he’s been calling for Archuleta to be sacked since his first hearing on the data breach June 16.
“Since at least 2007, OPM leadership has been on notice about the vulnerabilities to its network and cybersecurity policies and practices. Director Archuleta and [Chief Information Officer (CIO) Donna] Seymour consciously ignored the warnings and failed to correct these weaknesses,” Chaffetz said. “Their negligence has now put the personal and sensitive information of 21.5 million Americans into the hands of our adversaries. Such incompetence is inexcusable. Again, I call upon President Obama to remove Director Archuleta and Ms. Seymour immediately.”
Senate Democrats introduced a bill today mandating lifetime identity theft protection for the victims.
“Each week OPM has come out with a new story with new facts,” Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said. “This erodes confidence going forward that the federal government will be able to protect federal employees whose personal data – social security numbers, dates of birth, fingerprints – has been stolen.”
“They’ve been sitting on this reality for seven months,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said. “People need to go, starting with the OPM director.”