The cyber breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has finally resulted in the resignation of Katherine Archuleta as Director of that agency. According to news reports she offered her resignation to President Obama today and it was accepted by him. Her resignation comes only a day after it was announced that over 21 million records with PII had been ‘stolen’ by hackers in the June cyber attack. News of the breach was made public some time ago, but the original estimates of lost records were far lower than announced yesterday. Bit by bit, like a dripping faucet, information on the breach was gradually released and with each announcement by the government the magnitude of the event grew, from 4 million to 10 million, to the current estimate of 21 million lost records.
The OPM has a troubled history of breaches dating back several years, and President Obama nominated Archuleta for the Director position in the hopes that she would be able to the deal with the situation. She had been the political director the President’s reelection campaign. Critics complained then that she was not qualified for the position, but she was confirmed for the position via a bipartisan vote in the Senate in October 2013. Despite her efforts another breach occurred in 2014, followed by the major attack this past June. Elected officials including Democratic Sen. Mark Warner from Virginia and more than 20 other lawmakers called for her resignation.
While her resignation closes one page in the OPM breach saga, the investigation continues. The investigation into the scope of the breach is ongoing with determination needed to be made as to who is responsible for the attack and what the final damages are. Those in the cyber community with a vested interest in the event are hoping that the dripping has now stopped and that incoming personnel are now taking action to plug any further leaks and make our governments digital systems secure.