recommended reading

special report

Everything We Know About the OPM Hack

Nextgov's coverage of one of the largest government hacks.

Witnesses testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on federal Cybersecurity and the OPM Data Breach.
Witnesses testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on federal Cybersecurity and the OPM Data Breach. // Susan Walsh/AP
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

Fewer OPM Hack Victims Must Re-Enroll in Protection Services Than Originally Estimated

November 7, 2016 Lawmakers express concern provider transition "may create confusion."

As Many as 150K OPM Hack Victims Must Re-Enroll to Keep Protection Services

November 1, 2016 OPM is switching benefit providers after initial contract expires.

Pentagon Seeks Tech for New Background Investigation Bureau

September 20, 2016 DISA seeks commercial options to support the new background check system.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah

Congressional Probe Says OPM Hackers Arrived in 2012 And We Will Never Know What They Took

September 7, 2016 The breaches were avoidable, according to the report.

OPM Updates Hack Info Website

June 27, 2016 Agency updates and streamlines FAQ on the incident and its response.

OPM headquarters

The Puzzle of When the OPM Hack Was Discovered Might Not be Solved After All

May 31, 2016 Security vendor CyTech now claims that during an April 21, 2015, product demonstration, its technology uncovered, for the first time, malware siphoning off the data.

OPM’s Troubled IT Upgrade Project on Track to Get Millions More in Funding

May 27, 2016 A new watchdog report finds funding for the project remains an issue in part because of poor planning by the agency.

'Data Guardians' Now On Watch After Hack at Medicare Agency

May 23, 2016 "This program is really designed to make the most use of not just our security people, but to make use of all of our employees," one official says.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

Senators Want More Detail on IT Plans Behind New Background Check Agency

May 20, 2016 Senators fear OPM “is moving forward without firm plans in place."

Most Cyber Execs Don’t Think OPM Hack Changed Much

May 19, 2016 More than half of respondents said they weren’t sure overall information security is better off, despite a big push on information security by the Obama administration in response to the hack.

OPM: A Year After the Big Breach

May 11, 2016 A senior cybersecurity official reflects on OPM’s upcoming “unfortunate anniversary.”

What’s Your ‘Insider Threat Score?’ It Could Determine If You Keep Your Clearance

April 29, 2016 The idea is to regularly vet individuals with access to classified information on their likelihood to go rogue, officials say.

When Will We Ever Learn? 92 Percent of Hacks Detected Months After the Fact

April 26, 2016 Ninety-two percent of all data breaches are detected by someone else besides the target.

Beth Cobert, President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016

OPM Gives Health Insurance Companies New Rules for Reporting Cyberincidents

March 31, 2016 Last year, both OPM and one of the biggest insurers in the FEHBP program -- Anthem Inc. -- were breached, purportedly by the same band of Chinese state-backed hackers.

Spy Researchers Take on Biometric ID Hackers

March 22, 2016 A 4-year project just launched to develop artificial intelligence to automatically detect spoofed fingertips, facial images and irises.

White House Says Agencies Reported 77,200 Cyber Incidents in 2015

March 21, 2016 "The increasing number and impact of these incidents demonstrate that continuously confronting cyberthreats must remain a strategic priority," according to a March 18 report on compliance with agency information security laws.

These NASA Researchers Saw the OPM Hack Coming a Decade Ago. But Nobody Listened.

March 7, 2016 A group of NASA researchers, upset at the intrusiveness of federal background investigations, sued the government nearly 10 years ago, warning the feds couldn’t keep the data safe.

House Panel Wants to Give Agency CIOs Authority to Crack Down on Personal Email Use

March 1, 2016 Labor groups fought efforts at DHS and OPM recently to shut off personal email access.

CYBERCOM Chief Mike Rogers

CYBERCOM Chief Says More Industry Heads Will Roll After Hacks

February 29, 2016 At federal agencies, bosses have been slow to take the blame for hacks.

Acting OPM Director Beth Cobert

Is the New IT Plan to Protect Security Clearance Docs ‘Headed for Another Disaster?'

February 25, 2016 Lawmakers applauded the move to put DOD in charge of IT security but are less enthused about OPM’s role.

Department of Homeland Security Computer Emergency Readiness Team Director Ann Barron-DiCamillo testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 24, 2015, before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on recent cyber attacks.

Head of DHS' Emergency Cyber Unit Stepping Down

February 19, 2016 During her three years in office, Ann Barron-DiCamillo, head of the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, has been a mainstay on Capitol Hill.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Justice, DHS Probe Hack Allegedly Made Possible By DOJ Help Desk

February 10, 2016 A hacktivist claims a help desk aided his intrusion into a computer containing contact information on some 9,000 DHS personnel and 20,000 FBI employees.

In this Feb. 5, 2016 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington.

Obama’s 2017 Budget Boosts Cyber Spending by 35 Percent, Adds Federal CISO

February 9, 2016 The funding and personnel adjustments come after a year of constant disclosures about agency hacks.

Beth Cobert, Presid, ... ]

OPM Head Pledges to Help Resolve Mystery Over Who Spotted the Big Breach

February 4, 2016 OPM has maintained that agency employees uncovered the intrusion last spring while fortifying the agency's IT environment.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah

Oversight Committee Chair Subpoenas OPM Director for Hack Documents

February 3, 2016 At a Jan. 7 Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, grilled OPM officials about binders' worth of redacted papers.

Could a More Secure Online Browser Protect Background Check Hack Victims?

February 3, 2016 Richard “Hollis” Helms, a 45-year-veteran of the intelligence community, has a tool he says might stem the potential bleeding of national secrets.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson discusses the updates to the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS), Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Response Coordination Center in Washington.

DHS Chief Defends $6 Billion Federal Firewall after Stinging Audit

February 1, 2016 "The EINSTEIN system is not a silver bullet," said Jeh Johnson. "It does not stop all attacks, nor is it intended to do so. It is part of a broader array of defenses."

What Does the Chemical Safety Board Have in Common with OPM and Target?

January 28, 2016 The board does not keep track of computer systems it has outsourced to contractors, which could jeopardize information confidentiality.

Why Agencies Must Take a 'Security First' Approach in 2016

January 26, 2016 In federal cybersecurity, what is being done – and what else can be done?

National Security Agency director Mike Rogers speaks at Stanford University, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. Rogers told professors and students that U.S. intelligence is depending on Silicon Valley innovation for technologies that strengthen th

NSA Director: Expect More Hacks As Big As the OPM Heist

January 22, 2016 To protect itself, the Defense Department is itemizing the military's stored away files and re-examining how they are secured, NSA and Cyber Command leader and Adm. Mike Rogers said.

Here’s the Pentagon Policy for Going Undercover in Cyberspace

January 21, 2016 Most of the directions for this sly approach to cozying up with the enemy for information extraction are redacted, but the glossary offers some understanding of the tactics in play.

In Most Hacks, ‘the Common Denominator' is People

January 11, 2016 The latest and greatest technology means absolutely nothing if your workforce isn’t properly trained and competent regarding the Internet.

OPM Hackers Netted Usernames, Social Security Numbers Years Ago

January 7, 2016 Federal officials always maintained the attackers -- who nabbed 21.5 million background check records last year -- never obtained personally identifiable information during a breach two years ago.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah

OPM Still Hasn’t Answered Questions on Background Check Hack, Republicans Say

January 6, 2016 During a House hearing tomorrow, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee is expected to question a legislative branch liaison from OPM about the holdup and excessive redactions in documents it received.

A view of the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, before President Barack Obama spoke. Obama renewed his call for Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation, including a proposal that enc

Juniper Hack: DHS Tells Agencies to Close Encryption Backdoors

December 23, 2015 The government is scouring its IT inventory to identify affected Juniper systems.

Militants from the Islamic State parade in a commandeered Iraqi security forces armored vehicle on a main street in Mosul, Iraq.

New OPM Cyber Czar Worried About an ISIS Hack

December 14, 2015 Clifton Triplett -- named OPM's first-ever senior cyber and IT adviser last month – says forthcoming access controls will blunt the severity of any future hack.

Government Finishes Mailing Letters to Hack Victims -- But Still Can’t Track Down 1.5 Million of Them

December 11, 2015 The government has finished mailing 93 percent of the victims.

OPM Rushed to Award $20M Post-Hack Contract -- and Ran Afoul of Federal Contracting Rules, IG Says

December 10, 2015 Because of OPM's missteps, "millions of taxpayer dollars were put at risk for waste or loss" the IG says.

DHS Contract Expands Anti-Hacker EINSTEIN Protection to Every Agency

December 8, 2015 The deal was inked to complete a goal of making so-called EINSTEIN 3A network protections available to all civilian agencies by Dec. 31.

OPM Says Dead Federal Employees Also Need ID Theft Protection

December 7, 2015 The agency is mailing about 300,000 notification letters addressed to the departed