Last week, Heritage published a listing of cybersecurity breaches affecting federal government systems from 2004 to the present. The listing is already out of date.
On the Friday before the Memorial Day weekend, it was disclosed that the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), where federal employees bank their pension money, had been breached. Data from more than 120,000 individuals was stolen in a “sophisticated cyber attack.”
The data lost included Social Security numbers, names, addresses, and in some cases financial information about the account. That combination of data is useful to the thief as a means of falsely claiming a TSP participant’s identity.
Cybersecurity is a growing problem for the federal government. According to an October 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office, the number of attacks on federal systems grew by nearly a factor of 10 from 2006 to 2010. By all accounts, the frequency of breaches does not seem to be getting any lower in the last two years, as the breach of the TSP demonstrates.