by Airman 1st Class Tara Fadenrecht
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
10/26/2015 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- According
to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, approximately 25 million
federal employees had personal information stolen as a result of two
separate, but related, cybersecurity incidents on its systems since the
end of 2013.
Individuals impacted by the second, larger OPM data breach are being
notified strictly through postal mail, not email. The letter will
include a personal identification number and explain the next steps the
affected individual should take, said the OPM organization.
"About one-fifteenth of the population of the United States is affected
by these data breaches," said Steven Eftink, 22nd Air Refueling Wing
information protection chief. "That's a lot of people, and the impact is
going to be felt for quite a while."
Social security numbers, usernames and passwords used to fill out
background investigation forms, financial history and information about
immediate family were just some of the records that were stolen. The
compromised personal information not only included recently updated
data, but also data from years ago, according to the OPM office of
"Everybody is affected," said Eftink. "Every military member, every
contractor, every civilian employed back to the year 2000 is probably
affected by this."
It is important for individuals involved to be aware of the many ways in
which they can monitor the situation and protect themselves from
further damage. One simple way people can stay alert is to keep an eye
on their credit report.
"Individuals need to be cognizant and make sure they monitor their
credit reports," he said. "That is crucial. That will probably be one of
the first indicators that your financial information is being misused."
For more information regarding the OPM data breaches and how to protect
your personal information visit www.opm.gov/cybersecurity. Questions can
be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.