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Running head: CRITICAL THINKINGJames 1Critical ThinkingAndrea L. JamesUniversity of Maryland Global CampusCBR 600 – Communicating, Problem Solving, andLeading in CybersecurityOctober 15, 2022
IntroductionIn June 2015, the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced 4.2million current, former and perspective federal government employees and contractorsbackground information had been compromised. This cybersecurity incident span across twodata breaches to include sensitive information, Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of 21.5 millionindividuals, was stolen from the background investigation databases. Additionally,19.7 millionindividuals that applied for a background investigation, and 1.8 million non-applicants, primarilyspouses or co-habitants of applicants. Some records also include findings from interviewsconducted by background investigators and approximately 5.6 million include fingerprints.Usernames and passwords that background investigation applicants used to fill out theirbackground investigation forms were also stolen.
CRITICAL THINGINGJames 3it was targeted a suspected breach of its information system was compromised revealing.Anomalous a non-US based company was identified as the prime suspect, allegedly they wereable to gain valid user credentials to the systems that they attacked through social engineering.They were also able to install malware inside OPM’s network and established a backdoorthrough which they gained escalated privileges and root access to a wide range of OPM’ssystems (Gallagher, 2015).and there is an ongoing investigation into the hack.In this instance, OPM revealed that about 4.2 million former and current governmentemployees, military members and their families, and contractors’ background information havebeen compromised during the intrusion by unknown actors. Thus, the fallout was very grave aspoliticians could not blame any one person for the security failure, some politicians likened theOPM breach as a cyber hack on national security just like the 911 physical attack on the nation,and others have called the OPM breach “Cyber Pearl Harbor” (Figueroa, 2016), to emphasize theimpact of the OPM attack. In addition to the fallout, the OPM Director stepped down and anacting director was placed in the position, which also led to the removal of the “OPM ElectronicQuestionnaires for Investigating Processes (e-QIP) application” (Finklea, Christensen, Fischer,Lawrence, & Theohary, 2015) from online for security improvement.
CRITICAL THINKINGJames 4A data breach in the U.S. government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in 2015has compromised records of millions of people. The perpetrators were able to gain valid usercredentials to the systems that they attacked through social engineering. They were also able toinstall malware inside OPM’s network and established a backdoor through which they gainedescalated privileges and root access to a wide range of OPM’s systems (Gallagher, 2015). Thebreach led to the theft of personally identifiable information such as SSN, names, dates andplaces of birth, and addresses of current and former employees (Sanders, 2015). The breach also

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Term
Spring
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CyberTech

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