#CLAHomeworkAssignment 6/12/15: The OPM hack and why it matters

Today’s #CLAHomeworkAssignment will contain several sources, rather than just one; the importance of the subject calls for more detail than usual.

The hacking by China of in-depth personal information about U.S. Federal employees is an easy story to miss. Each week brings another round of cybersecurity stories, so the Chinese breach of Office of Personnel Management computers might seem like just another story from just another news cycle.

It’s not just another story.

First, an epic Twitter rant from @TheRickWilson:

There’ll be some DC whining, a Congressional hearing, an unread report and nothing. The Chinese have the greatest intel coup in history….

Frankly, despair is a rational emotion in this circumstance. This breach is so big, so shitty, so consequential.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

Likewise @EsotericCD–be sure to read his Twitter comments yesterday and today:

I know it smacks of narcissism to insist rest of Twitter share my priorities, but I can’t understand why ppl’s hair not on fire re OPM hack….

Good morning. Most impt story of day/week/month/year remains OPM hack. Yet now we’re consumed w/some dope who masqueraded as a black person.

Yep.

A great overview from John Schindler AKA @20committee:

The other day I explained in detail how the mega-hack of the Office of Personnel Management’s internal servers looks like a genuine disaster for the U.S. Government, a setback that will have long-lasting and painful counterintelligence consequences….

Armed with lists of Chinese citizens worldwide who are in “close and continuing contact” (to cite security clearance lingo) with American officials, Beijing can now seek to exploit those ties for espionage purposes.

Again, read the whole thing.

Jim Geraghty weighs in:

How did we reach the point where an event like this is something an administration can simply wait out until public interest moves on?

Good question.

Last but certainly not least, Ed Morrissey:

Some on Twitter now call this a “Pearl Harbor” in cyberspace, but that may actually undersell the damage that we now know the US took in the hack on the Office of Personnel Management. On one hand, no one’s been killed; the US lost 2,403 lives and another 1,178 wounded in that battle. Within months or even weeks, the US had repaired much of the damage and went on offense in the eastern Pacific. In this attack, the damage to more than 2 million federal employees is permanent and irreparable….

Meanwhile, the news cycle moves on, and this story has made barely a ripple.

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