Normal Topic OPM Hack May Have Exposed Polygraph Information (Read 5280 times)
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OPM Hack May Have Exposed Polygraph Information
Jun 25th, 2015 at 5:41am
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Daily Beast senior intelligence and national security correspondent Shane Harris reports that the recent compromise of Office of Personnel Management data may well have included admissions gleaned from polygraph interrogations. Excerpt:

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Adjudication information would include the results of polygraph examinations, both former U.S. officials said. The exam can be extraordinarily intimate, bordering on humiliating. One former official said a polygrapher once him asked if he’d ever practiced bestality. Another said questions are designed to root out potential leakers, noting that he was asked about what contacts he’d had with journalists, including in a social setting.

OPM’s chief information officer, Donna Seymour, acknowledged that “clearance adjudication information” was compromised when she testified at a House hearing on June 16. But the remark went virtually unnoticed, as lawmakers mostly focused their attention on the agency’s embattled director and OPM’s weak computer security.

The adjudication process had a broad scope, taking into account the SF86 questionnaire, reports from background investigations, interviews with the applicant's family members and associates, his or her employment history, and for people seeking high-level clearances, the results of polygraph investigations.

Seymour said that such records “span an employee’s career” and could stretch back as far as 30 years. Officials have said that as many as 18 million people may have been affected by the breach. Asked specifically what information the hackers had obtained, Seymour told lawmakers that she preferred to answer later in a “classified session.”
  

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Re: OPM Hack May Have Exposed Polygraph Information
Reply #1 - Jun 25th, 2015 at 11:47am
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Here is a transcript of Donna Seymour's testimony to which Daily Beast reporter Shane Harris referred in his article, in context. She was being questioned by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD):

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Rep. Elijah Cummings: Miss Seymour, this data breach is particularly concerning because the individuals who were targeted were government employees and the suspected attackers are foreign entities. I’m concerned that this breach may pose a national security threat. According to a statement from OPM, the personal information of approximately four million current and former government employees was compromised in this breach. What can you tell us about the type of personal information that was compromised in this breach?

Donna Seymour: Thank you for the question, sir. The type of information involved in the personnel records breach includes typical information about job assignments, some performance ratings, not evaluations, but performance ratings, as well as training records for our personnel. The information involved in the background investigations incident involves SF-86 data as well as clearance adjudication information.

Rep. Cummings: So, social security numbers?

Seymour: Yes sir. Social security number, date of birth, place of birth. Typical P.I.I. that would be in those types of files.

Rep. Cummings: Miss Seymour, it was reported on Friday that in addition to this breach, hackers had reached highly sensitive information gathered in the background investigations of current and former federal employees. Is that true?

Seymour: Yes, sir. that is.

Rep. Cummings: Do you know how far back that goes?

Seymour: No sir, I don’t. These are—the issue is that these are longitudinal records so they span the employee’s, you know, career, and so I do not know what the oldest record is.

Rep. Cummings: So it’s possible that somebody could be working for the federal government for thirty years, and their information over that thirty years could have been breached here?

Seymour: Yes sir. These records do span an employee’s career.

Rep. Cummings: So what can you tell us about the type of information that may have been compromised in this, in the second breach?

Seymour: I believe that that would be a discussion that would be better had in our classified session this afternoon, sir.

Rep. Cummings: Thank you. I’m going to come back to you.…


It's not clear to me why the type of information that may have been compromised should be kept a secret from the American people (including those affected, which will include many readers and participants of this forum). After all, the people who compromised the data presumably know what they've got.

Video of the 16 May 2015 congressional hearing on the OPM data breach is available here:

http://www.c-span.org/video/?326593-1/hearing-office-personnel-management-data-b...

The exchange between Cummings and Seymour begins at 01:03:05.
  

George W. Maschke
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OPM Hack May Have Exposed Polygraph Information

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