Hacking as Offensive Counterintelligence

Whoever now holds OPM’s records possesses something like the Holy Grail from a CI perspective. They can target Americans in their database for recruitment or influence. After all, they know their vices, every last one — the gambling habit, the inability to pay bills on time, the spats with former spouses, the taste for something sexual on the side (perhaps with someone of a different gender than your normal partner) — since all that is recorded in security clearance paperwork – – To get an idea of how detailed this gets, you can see the form, called an SF86, here. http://www.opm.gov/Forms/pdf_fill/sf86.pdf

The XX Committee

Washington, DC, is reeling from revelations that the Office of Personnel Management, the Federal government’s HR hub, has been extensively hacked. OPM is an obscure but important agency since it holds the personnel records of Federal workers, past and present, and even more, it conducts background investigations for security clearance holders across many Federal agencies.

Based on available information so far, the records of some four million Federal workers, going back to 1985, have been compromised, of whom 2.1 million are currently serving. In what has become the custom inside the Beltway, OPM had repeated warnings about its slipshod computer security practices but not much was done despite the enormously rising threat of foreign hackers. The extent of this needless debacle is truly disastrous, as I explained in a series of tweets the other day.

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About Raymond Johansen

Ray is a writer, columnist, contributor and subeditor for a large number of groups, pages and blogs - with a wide global network. He is the International Coordinator at Pursuance Project and The Pirate Party of Norway. Furthermore he sits on the board of several organisations, including Barrett Brown's Pursuance Project and Pirate Parties International. He is a Human Rights and Privacy Activist, a Hacktivist and is heavily involved in whistleblower support.

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