The largest US federal employee union has lodged a lawsuit against the federal personnel office for failing to protect personal files from the most damaging cyberthefts in the country’s history.
The class action lawsuit was filed Monday by the American Federation of Government Employees against the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), its director, Katherine Archuleta, its chief information officer, Donna Seymour and one of its contractors, Keypoint Government Solutions.
Hackers believed to be working for the Chinese government apparently stole records for as many as 18 million current and former federal employees and contractors.
Among the stolen documents were the detailed background investigations for security clearances of military and intelligence agency employees.
OPM, which acknowledged the cyberattacks earlier this month, has come under harsh criticism from lawmakers.
OPM’s inspector general has told Congress that he had been warning for years about the agency’s inadequate information security, but the relevant officials have always ignored the warnings.
According to the lawsuit, OPM failed to improve its security and safeguard employee information even after it was warned.