In response to a massive data breach earlier this year, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the General Services Administration paid $133.3 million Tuesday to better protect hack victims.
The data breach was first noticed in April 2015. At the time OPM discovered that the personnel data of 4.2 million federal employees had been stolen. This included sensitive information like the Social Security numbers for both current and retired employees. An investigation into the matter uncovered 21.5 million workers had been victims of the attack.
“We remain fully committed to assisting the victims of these serious cybercrimes and to taking every step possible to prevent the theft of sensitive data in the future,” OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert said in a statement. “Millions of individuals, through no fault of their own, had their personal information stolen and we’re committed to standing by them, supporting them, and protecting them against further victimization.”
The $133.3 million protection contract was awarded to Identity Theft Guard Solutions LLC. Government Executive reports that Naval Sea Systems Command led the effort to select who to reward the contract to. With the contract it is now tasked with providing protective services to victims.
The award payout has been delayed several times. The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has criticized OPM for how it has handled the breach. The union represents many government employees impacted by the hack.
Federal officials through the Department of Defense, will notify those impacted by the breach directly beginning later this month.
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