Almost certainly it was, though no one wants to come out and say so. The ABA Journal reported yesterday that federal judges and judiciary employees have been alerted that they may have been among the victims of the Office of Personnel Management breach which impacted 21.5 million people.
Did the breach compromise the data of the Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court? A Supreme Court spokesman refused to answer the question, though I think it highly unlikely that the Justices were somehow protected when 21.5 million people were not.
David Sellers, a spokesman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, told The National Law Journal that the office has sent seven updates on the breach to the judiciary and established an internal website with information.
Sellers added, “Anything that compromises personal information and consequently threatens safety and security is a great concern. We treated this at the [Administrative Office] the same way we would treat a disaster, like if a hurricane hit a court.”
Sellers is right. Data breaches are disasters, but unlike a hurricane, the damage done may not be immediately apparent. Using personal data gained in this breach, a judge could be blackmailed - or pressured to decide a case in a certain way. To say nothing of having his/her personal safety endangered. I was glad to see that the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts is indeed treating this like a disaster. With a breach, you hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
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Digital Forensics/Information Security/Information Technology