OPM chief Katherine Archuleta resigns over data hacks

Two massive hacking attacks on the Office of Personnel Management has resulted in the resignation of Director Katherine Archuleta.

Hackers gained access to sensitive, personal information of about 21.5 million Americans.

The hackers took information gathered from federal background checks.

Just last month a related attack compromised the records of 4.2 million current and former employees.

Archuleta chose to resign on her own volition despite saying earlier in the week that she had no plans to.

This move was seen as necessary in the wake of the hacking scandal by everyone from President Obama on down to several key Senate and House leaders.

“This is the absolute right call. OPM needs a competent, technically savvy leader to manage the biggest cyber security crisis in this nation’s history,” said House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). “The IG (Inspector General) has been warning about security lapses at OPM for almost a decade. This should have been addressed much, much sooner, but I appreciate the president doing what’s best now.”

Archuleta has been at OPM for the last 18 months. She claims part of the problem leading to the data breaches had to do with the aging systems some of which are nearly 30 years old.

On Saturday Beth Cobert stepped in to the role of Acting Director.

Cobert is also the Deputy Director of Management at the Office of Management and Budget.

“The new leadership now has the hard task of not only fixing the failures that allowed this to happen, but also earning back the trust of federal government employees and the American public,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said.

Possible legislation to help prevent this type of attack has already passed the House, but the Senate has yet to take up the bill.

The bill would encourage companies to share cyber threat information with the government in exchange for limited immunity from shareholder lawsuits and governmental anti-trust actions.

Officials have yet to identify a source of the attack, but some point to China as the likely culprit. They have denied responsibility.

[USA Today]