A massive cyber breach at the Office of Personnel Management may have exposed the personal and financial information of 4 million employees, putting their credit and finances at risk.
But what does it mean for you?
OPM also issued guidance for affected feds, urging feds to:
- Monitor their financial statements and immediately report any suspicious or unusual activity to their financial institutions.
- Request a free credit report by going to www.annualcreditreport.com. Consumers are eligible for one free credit report a year from each of the three major credit bureaus.
- Investigate whether they should place a fraud alert on their credit profiles in order to let creditors know to contact them before opening any new accounts in their names.
See also: OPM hack could affect 4 million people
The National Federation of Federal employees is working to inform its members about the data breach and is distributing the OPM guidance as widely as possible, according to NFFE President William Dougan.
He said feds should also continue to check OPM's website in case of any new developments in the situation and also notify their financial institutions about the possible breach of their data.
- Being suspicious of unsolicited phone calls and email messages from people asking about other employees or for internal information. If someone claims to be from somewhere, try and verify their identity.
- Do not reveal personal information in an email, and do not respond to email requests for personal information.
- Take advantage of any anti-phishing software or services provided by your agency.
Tyler Reguly, the manager of security research for cyber detection company Tripwire, said in addition to the OPM guidances, federal employees should watch out for more targeted attacks tailored to the information stolen.
"Targeted attacks are likely to be much more specific and tailored to appeal to you. Always be wary of people who seem to know too much about you no matter what method they use to contact you," Reguly said.
Colleen Kelly, the president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said the union was working to warn current and federal employees to be wary of people trying to capitalize on the theft of their personal information.
She said NTEU is also seeking information on which employees were affected and the specifics about which types of information were stolen. Updates will be sent to NTEU members whenever new information is available.