The Story Of Biometric Data Compromise Because Of The OPM Breach – Chuck Leaver

Written By Mike Hamilton And Presented By Ziften CEO Chuck Leaver



Enhanced Security of Personal and Biometric Data Is Needed After OPM Breach





Recently, I needed to go through a relatively extensive background check process. At the time it was among those circumstances where you sign into the portal, offer your social security number, a plethora of sensitive details about you and your household, and trust the federal government (and their professionals) to take care of that personal data.

As I got home the other evening and sat down to start composing this blog post, I took a look at the stack of mail laying on my desk and noticed one of those envelopes with the perforated edges that generally contain delicate details.

Obviously, you need to open those kinds of envelopes. Regrettably at that time all of my worst fears had come true.

Exactly what I found was my personal letter detailing that basically every sensitive piece of details one might need to know about me – in addition to comparable information on twenty one million other Americans – was accessed during the OPM breach.


Oh, and incidentally, there’s the issue that my biometric identity was likewise compromised:






At this point, despite the fact that “federal specialists” think that it’s not a major issue, my iPhone disagrees with them. Bruce Schneier wrote an outstanding piece on this, so I won’t belabor the points he makes. However eventually we all have to ask some hard questions:

When is this going to cease?

Who is responsible for stopping it?

Who is going to actually stop it?

Who is going to be held accountable when breaches happen?

These kinds of breaches are why we at Ziften are so passionately developing our next-generation security tools. While we as a security community might never ever completely stop or prevent these kinds of breaches from happening, possibly we can make them so much more difficult and time consuming. At the end of the day, till the community says “this has to stop” this is going to continue to happen daily.

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