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    US Federal Cyber Defense Project Doomed by Lack of Funding - Official

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    The US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) cannot afford a $93 million IT upgrade to prevent future cybersecurity breaches, OPM Assistant Inspector General for Audit Mike Esser told a Senate Financial Services and General Government hearing on Tuesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On June 4, 2015, the OPM announced a cybersecurity breach had compromised the personnel data of up to four million US federal employees, the largest of its kind ever experienced by the federal government.

    “The cost of this work is likely to be substantial and the lack of the dedicated funding source increases the risk that the project will fail to meet its objectives,” Esser stated.

    The project aims to overhaul OPM’s entire infrastructure and migrate all systems to a new datacenter environment.

    “Its estimate of $93 million includes only the initial phases of the project, which covers tightening up the security controls and building a new shell environment,” the official said.

    Esser explained that the estimate does not include the cost of moving IT systems to their new locations.

    Earlier on Tuesday, OPM Director Katherine Archuleta told the Senate that the breach has increased to include anybody who has applied for employment with the US government, or about 18 million people, including individuals who have applied to obtain security clearances.

    According to media reports, US investigators believe Chinese hackers were responsible for the security breach. China has denied the allegations.

    The Obama administration has so far refused to blame China for the attack.

    OPM is the US government’s human resource department charged with recruiting and training the work force of the federal civil service.


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