Dept. of O.P.M. – Oh Joy [NOT!]

Millions of folks will have gotten one of these. I’d figured that, by now, I was not going to be one.

I was wrong.

It came in the mail today. From the Federal
Office Of Personnel Management. OPM.

Now you might think that having never worked for the Federal Government that I’d not be in their personnel database. You would be wrong. About 20? years ago I did a contract at The Federal Reserve Bank. (Yes, that Fed…) It required security screening. I was screened. So I’m in their database. Apparently forever.

Here’s what you get as a reward:

Federal Personnel OPM Hack notice letter

Federal Personnel OPM Hack notice letter

I’ve blurred my first names and erased my PIN. Don’t know what good it will do me to ‘sign up’ for whatever it is they are giving me. Didn’t see any “this releases our liability” notice on it, so I’ll likely do it.

Not much to say about it. “It is what it is. – Paul the Mercedes Mechanic”…

But for anyone not so endowed with such a letter, you can click on that one to embiggen it and take a look at what millions of your friends and enemies alike around the world have gotten.

Notice To Chinese Hackers

Or whoever did the hack…

I am presently unemployed and looking for a new “Gig”. There isn’t any need to be devious about things nor attempt to use “my” information against me. I don’t have much money to speak of, and I’m available for “reasonable rates”. I also don’t really care what I do so long as it isn’t criminal and I’m not doing evil. So pretty much any contract you want to throw at me “I’m good with that” anyway and no coercion is needed or expected. Basically, I’m a “computer money whore” available to the highest bidder anyway. All client secrets kept. Will travel as long as expenses are paid.

Medical, Dental, and 401k optional.

In Conclusion

Well, looks like I’m in the pot of all those folks likely to be residing in some Chinese Government Database, perused and reviewed by their CIA equivalent. While I’m not expecting anything to come of it, since I’m really not all that interesting a ‘catch’ and my Fed involvement was decades back and indirectly through other employers, it does put an interesting “wrinkle” in my life.

Maybe they can use someone to proof read their threatening extortion letters and clean up the diction…

Or, since I’m fond of Linux and Kylin is based on BSD, maybe they would like to let a “Penetration Testing” contract to me to knock on their computer doors and see what I find. I’ve done that kind of thing on contracts before.

Or, I like travel and exotic foods along with lots of different languages. Maybe they would like me to tour various western nations (other than the USA) taking photos and writing opinions. I’d be good at that.

Oh well. I’m most likely just going to sit in some dusty corner of the Spy Agency Vault Records as “old retired guy – no interest, not usable”. But a fella can hope can’t he?

;-) of course…

Or: 1/2 Humor, maybe…

May I live in interesting times…
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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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15 Responses to Dept. of O.P.M. – Oh Joy [NOT!]

  1. andysaurus says:

    It just happened here in Australia too. My main concern is that they are smarter than we are. Mind you, looking at the result of Paris, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised!

  2. Counter Revolutionary says:

    Welcome to the club.

  3. Larry Ledwick says:

    I would have thought any competent agency would have finished that notification long ago — Oh never mind! Government and competent rarely go together.

  4. p.g.sharrow says:

    By legal definition, Bureaucrats are mental incompetents. Nether they or the Agency that they work for can be held responsible for the outcomes that result from their actions or inactions.
    Al Gore said that “there is no enforceing agency” so, no crime…pg

  5. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; Creation of Data gathering is a bureaucrat’s most important product. Computers is information gathering on steroids. Too bad the security of that information is a job for “someone else” to worry about, therefor “Not My Problem”. You would think if Their Information was at stake they would do something about it. OH! it was their information as well as ours. Do you think they would learn. …………..No way! they want weaker encryption and more back doors.
    The FBI complains that modern standard encryption is Too difficult for them to decipher. so they want builtin back doors for them to use. Insanity on steroids!
    Insane Mental Incompetents….pg

  6. Ian W says:

    @Larry Ledwick I would think they have set up a small group of clerks to step through the names/IDs then issue letters. There will be many like me who are a few addresses away from where they were who may never receive notification. I would expect the hackers to be more competent at finding us. At least APTs .are more likely to go after people in positions that make them useful rather than people who went through the mill for short contract work and are not in posts with access to secure data.

  7. Graeme No.3 says:

    I have just had a colonoscopy – a routine hospital operation (and clear if anyone is interested). I had to fill out 9 A4 pages before admittance, mostly repeating things for different sections/departments. There were at least 3 of us for the same surgeon that day for the same procedure, indeed I assume he may have well done 8 for the day.
    During the 2 days there the nurses were forever checking blood pressure etc. and filling in other forms. All this data would no doubt be entered into some data base, if not 2 or 3, and all of it of rather limited interest to any hackers. It is not enough to hack into a data base, you then need to sort out anything of interest, the cost in effort to those hackers must exceed the value unless they can reduce the amount of searching to be done.

  8. Another Ian says:

    Graeme No.3 says:

    I can raise your 9 pages. I’ve heard of a hospital where the admission of a patient required 4 pages.

    Management in its wisdom introduced a new form of 24 pages – which actually collected less information than the 4 page one.

    Staff rebellion saw that it didn’t fly.

  9. Graeme No.3 says:

    Another Ian:
    I once worked for a Company that decided to streamline information flow. As an example they reduced the number of pieces of paper to clear ships (their own) from the wharf (their own) from 12 to 2. The second was mostly a duplicate that had to go to the government department.
    When they built a new Head Office they went through their accumulated paper records and eliminated 105 tons of stored paper. I spent a week in the new HO looking up data from large hand written books going back to 1927 (this was in 1968). These were “essential” but I was assured that if I needed earlier records they were in the archives.
    Translate that into modern bureaucracy where “nothing must be deleted” (in various softwares) and “with computers it is really cheap to keep records” and you might catch a glimpse of the tangled web of records, and why I feel that hackers may not be the greatest threat.

  10. Jason Calley says:

    cdquarles, I share your esteem for Dr. von Mises, but for any newcomers to Austrian Economics, Hazlett’s “Economics In One Lesson” is a great way to start, free on line.
    http://fee.org/resources/economics-in-one-lesson-pdf-doc-audio/

  11. Lars Silén: Reflex och spegling says:

    Yesterday’s news told that there has been an intrusion here in Finland too and a large set of personal information stolen … no information yet about what it could lead to. :(

  12. Ian W says:

    Re Ian W says:
    14 December 2015 at 9:12 am
    Well they found me – got mine too. Not sure there is anything in mine of interest though I am wondering if there was a link to the fingerprints taken. That might cause more issues to some people

  13. p.g.sharrow says:

    Bureaucrats of all strips covet and horde information. In the old days the cost and mass of handling their collections was the only limit to their addiction. Today computer systems have reduced this cost until the cost of disposal of the information gathered exceeds the cost of storage. With Internet connectivity That information is exposed to any that lust to access it. Every coin has two sides, every activity has two results. To get the benefits you must pay the cost. Nothing is private in the age of the Internet. Those the machinate in dark places must fear it greatly. Those that are wise will take care in this new age…pg

  14. p.g.sharrow says:

    Think hacking of government data bases are a problem?
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/12/23/cyberattack-surge-100m-medical-records-hacked-in-2015-officials-say.html?intcmp=hpbt1
    Government mandated coordination of medical records is a bonanza for hackers. Maybe the gathers of this information need security consultants as they are legally and financially at risk for the loss. Not at all like Government Agencies which are exempt…pg

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