FEDweek

Clearance Breach Notices Wrapping Up

By the end of next week, the last of the notices to those affected by the cyber theft of security clearance files will have been sent, OPM has said in meanwhile setting up a “verification center” related to the breach. The notices are going to some 21.5 million persons who applied for security clearances, or had them renewed, since about 2000 and in some cases before. Of that number, about 3.6 million are current or former federal employees; most of the rest are current or former military personnel or contractor employees, although about 1.8 million are persons who were merely named on another’s application. The large majority of current and former federal employees affected also were impacted by a separate breach of some 4.2 million personnel files. They previously received notices of the identity protection and other services available; those being offered due to the clearance files breach are somewhat broader and continue for three years rather than 18 months. The verification center is designed to assist those who received a letter containing a personal identification number to enroll in the services but lost it, and also those who did not receive a notice letter but who want to double-check whether their information was taken. OPM is asking that the latter group wait until after next week when the mailings are to be complete. The phone number is 866-408-4555.