Do you feel secure?
Newstime is already full of stories of unrest, conflict, and violence. Now information theft is becoming another theme in the national news.
First Russian criminals hacked the IRS. Weeks later, it was revealed that Chinese hackers had accessed information of 4 million government employees through the Office of Personnel Management.
It was the largest breach of federal employee data in recent years. The attack targeted a database that contained social security numbers, training information, and security clearance for federal employees. Last year, similar hackers accessed an OPM database containing sensitive information concerning finances and family.
Several government employees pointed the finger in China’s direction but did so under the cover of anonymity.
Rob Eggebrecht, chief executive of a private cybersecurity firm, says there has been “a huge uptick in opportunistic exfiltration of high-value data.” Hackers originating in China have been specifically concentrating on weapons technology, pharmaceutical research, and personal data that could be used in recruitment, espionage, or phishing for yet more data.
The military is concerned too. Admiral James Winnefeld, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, “We’re hemorrhaging information at a dizzying rate, evidenced by the uncanny similarity of some of our potential adversaries’ new platforms to those we’ve been developing.”
No longer can Americans assume confidence in our government’s security. It’s been proven vulnerable again and again.
Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said the past few months have seen a massive series of data breaches affecting millions of Americans.
“This latest intrusion . . . is among the most shocking because Americans may expect that federal computer networks are maintained with state-of-the-art defenses,” he said. “The cyberthreat from hackers, criminals, terrorists and state actors is one of the greatest challenges we face on a daily basis, and it’s clear that a substantial improvement in our cyber databases and defenses isperilously overdue.”
How long until this weakness shows itself in more serious consequences?
Sen. Lindsey Graham was even more grim. He warned that a “cyber ‘Pearl Harbor’ is increasingly more likely if we do not invest in the necessary infrastructure to protect our nation.”
When our government officials put more emphasis on ensuring their own political longevity than protecting the people, this is what we get. The USDA spends $4 billion on beginning farmers and ranchers with no quantifiable result, and our rivals across the Pacific Ocean lay bare our woefully inadequate cyber security.
We can no longer trust our government to protect us.
When will America say “enough is enough”? Elected officials work for the governed who they represent. It’s time to hold our government employees to a higher standard, or fire them.