The Federal Government will Become America's Model Employer for the 21st Century.
Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People.
Human Resources and Security Specialists should use this tool to determine the correct investigation level for any covered position within the U.S. Federal Government.
OPM’s Human Resources Solutions organization can help your agency answer this critically important question.
Developing senior leaders in the U.S. Government through Leadership for a Democratic Society, Custom Programs and Interagency Courses.
Visit this federal site to search for our regulatory notices, proposed and final rules.
See the latest tweets on our Twitter feed, like our Facebook pages, watch our YouTube videos, and page through our Flickr photos.
OPM recently discovered two separate but related cybersecurity incidents that have impacted the data of Federal government employees, contractors, and others:
In June 2015, OPM discovered that the background investigation records of current, former, and prospective Federal employees and contractors had been stolen. OPM and the interagency incident response team have concluded with high confidence that sensitive information, including the Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of 21.5 million individuals, was stolen from the background investigation databases. This includes 19.7 million individuals that applied for a background investigation, and 1.8 million non-applicants, primarily spouses or co-habitants of applicants. Some records also include findings from interviews conducted by background investigators and approximately 5.6 million include fingerprints. Usernames and passwords that background investigation applicants used to fill out their background investigation forms were also stolen. Notifications for this incident started on September 30, 2015. We estimate notifications will continue for approximately 12 weeks.
While background investigation records do contain some information regarding mental health and financial history provided by applicants and people contacted during the background investigation, there is no evidence that health, financial, payroll and retirement records of Federal personnel or those who have applied for a Federal job were impacted by this incident (for example, annuity rolls, retirement records, USA JOBS, Employee Express).
OPM and an interagency team from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been investigating these incidents, and are working to put in place changes that will prevent similar thefts in the future. Based on the analysis and forensics to date, the interagency incident response team assesses that the adversary is no longer active on OPM's network.
Back to Top
If you underwent a Federal background investigation in 2000 or afterwards (which occurs through the submission of forms SF-86, SF-85, or SF-85P for either a new investigation or a reinvestigation), it is highly likely that you are impacted by the incident involving background investigations. If you underwent a background investigation prior to 2000, you still may be impacted, but it is less likely.
Learn more about who was impacted and the protections we are working to put into place.
If you are a current or former Federal government employee, including members of the U.S. military, you may have been impacted by the incident affecting background investigation records. Current or former Federal government employees may also have been impacted by the separate incident involving personnel data.
Some records could also include:
If you may have used your e-QIP (the online system used to process forms) password for other accounts or services, you should change your passwords for those accounts immediately and not reuse any passwords that you used in the e-QIP system.
Protections available to you:
Instructions on how to enroll in other services were included in your notification. If you have not yet received a notification but believe you were impacted by the incident involving personnel data, here's more information on the services available.
If you are an active duty servicemember or veteran, you may have been impacted by the incident affecting background investigation records. We have no evidence to suggest that active duty servicemembers or veterans were affected by the separate incident involving personnel data.
Types of information involved in the background investigation records incident that may have been impacted:
For those affected by the background investigation incident, you will receive a notification letter and PIN code in the mail providing details on the incident and the services available to you and your minor dependent children at no cost for three years (until December 31, 2018) such as:
Current or former Federal contractors may have been impacted by the incident affecting background investigation records. We have no evidence to suggest that current or former Federal contractors were affected by the separate incident involving personnel data.
Types of information in the incident involving background investigation records:
Candidates who were required to complete a background investigation form prior to employment may have been impacted by the incident affecting background investigation records. We have no evidence to suggest that job candidates were affected by the separate incident involving personnel data.
Types of information in background investigation incident that may have been impacted:
If your information was listed on a background investigation form by a spouse or co-habitant, the stolen information may include your name, Social Security number, address, date and place of birth, and in some cases, your citizenship information.
Beyond applicants and their spouses or co-habitants described above, you may be someone whose name, address, date of birth, or other similar information may have been listed on a background investigation form. In many cases, the information about these people is the same as what is generally available in public forums such as online directories or social media, and generally does not present the same level of risk of identity theft or other issues. While services will not be provided to you at no cost, there are a number of steps you can take to protect your identity (see below).
At this time, there is no information to suggest misuse of the information that was stolen from OPM's systems. We are continuing to investigate and monitor the situation. We have started notifying individuals impacted by the background investigation incident. Those impacted will automatically be eligible for some services and will need to take action to enroll in others.
In the meantime, here are steps you can take to protect your identity:
Visit IdentityTheft.gov to learn how to set up protections:
Phishing is when a fraudster impersonates a business or someone you trust in order to get your private information. Never click on links you don't trust and don't give out your personal information. Legitimate organizations never ask for your information through texts, pop-up messages, or email. Scammers may call and pretend to be from the government or a business to try to get you to give them sensitive information. If a caller asks for your information, call back using a number you know to be legitimate.
If the information in your background investigation forms could be used to guess your passwords or if you are using the same password that you did when you filled out your background investigation form, change them. Use complex passwords of 10-12 characters, combining letters, numbers, and special characters. Don't use something that is easily guessable for someone who knows you or has information about you. Don't repeat passwords for several accounts. For more information on how to choose a strong password, review the United States Computer Emergency Response Team’s (US-CERT) tips for Choosing and Protecting Passwords.
Review and check up on your practices for safe, secure and responsible online activity. Onguardonline.gov lists helpful steps you can take to make sure your computer is as safe as possible. For additional information on computer security, including information about firewalls, anti-virus software, and identifying security threats, review tips and the latest cybersecurity alerts and bulletins from the US-CERT’s National Cyber Awareness System.
If you believe your information has been misused, there are several steps you should take.
You can find information about the measures you can take to ensure the safety of your personal information at the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) at http://www.ncsc.gov.
Practicing safer online behavior helps you protect yourself from identity theft, fraud, and other online crimes and malicious activity. Learn what you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your workplace through tips and free resources from Stop.Think.Connect™, a national cybersecurity awareness campaign led by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance.
If you’ve received a notification letter and PIN code from OPM, please sign up for MyIDCare.
Notifications started on September 30, 2015. We estimate notifications will continue for approximately 12 weeks. To stay up-to-date on the latest news and information, including updates on the notification process, sign up for OPM’s cybersecurity email update list.
We have sent notifications to those affected by the incident involving personnel data. We are offering free identity theft monitoring and restoration services. If you were affected by this incident, you have been sent a notice that includes information about the free services available to you for 18 months. As part of this service, you are automatically enrolled in:
Protecting all Federal employees. In the coming months, the Administration will work with Federal employee representatives and other stakeholders to develop a proposal for the types of credit and identity theft monitoring services that should be provided to all Federal employees in the future – regardless of whether they have been affected by this incident – to ensure their personal information is always protected.
OPM continues to take aggressive action to strengthen its broader cyber defenses and information technology (IT) systems, in partnership with experts from DoD, DHS, FBI and other interagency partners.
Outlined in the Cybersecurity Action Report, OPM has identified 15 new steps to improve security and modernize its systems, including:
OPM has also directed a comprehensive review of OPM's IT system security to identify and immediately address any other vulnerabilities that may exist, and assess OPM's data sharing and use policies.
The Federal government, led by the Office of Management and Budget, is taking aggressive actions to continually strengthen its cyber defenses, and all agencies recently completed a 30-day cybersecurity sprint, whereby immediate steps are being taken to further protect information and assets and improve the resilience of Federal networks. OPM is fully engaged in this effort.
Finally and importantly, OPM will participate, along with our interagency Suitability and Security Performance Accountability Council partners, in a 90 day review of key questions related to information security, governance, policy, and other aspects of this the security and suitability determination process, to ensure that it is conducted in the most efficient, effective and secure manner possible.
View more information about what the U.S. Government is doing to improve our cyber defenses, enhance our response capabilities, and upgrade our incident management tools.
For an automated message on the incidents, please call 866-740-7153.