After state workers' private information was stolen, the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Defense are working to protect the victims from possible credit fraud.
The Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Defense have awarded a more than $130 million contract to Identity Theft Guard Solutions to provide three years of services to the 21.5 million individuals, and their dependent children, affected by the June data breach that involved background investigations. More than 22 million current, former and prospective government employees were affected by two breaches at the agency, which were first reported in early June.
Media reports have linked the breaches to China, but officials have yet to publicly name the perpetrators. The agency suffered two breaches, one detected in April affecting more than 4 million personnel files, and another detected in June that affected millions of background investigation files.
“I’m sorry about the concern this breach has caused” Acting OPM Director Beth Cobert said in a call with reporters Tuesday evening. Cobert said her own information was compromised in the breaches.
Employees from all three branches of government, including congressional staffers and members of Congress, were affected by the hacks. A notice posted on the internal House website on July 10 indicated that OPM set up a special hotline for congressional staff to answer their questions about the breaches.
Those employees affected by the second breach involving background investigations have yet to be formally notified their information was compromised. Cobert explained that the Department of Defense will take the lead in notifying affected individuals. Those notifications will begin later in September and continue over several weeks.
Tiffany Hixson of the Federal Acquisition Service with Government Services Administration confirmed in the press call that the expected cost of providing post-breach services over the next five years is $500 million.
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