Your Government At Work

Statists believe in a kind of alchemy.  They will say that individual citizens cannot be trusted with, say, selecting their own health plan.  This must be entrusted to a government official who gained such lofty powers by ... being selected by the self-same citizens that couldn't be trusted to choose a health plan.  How is it that schlubs who cannot be trusted can be elected by the mass of schlubs who cannot be trusted, placed into a monopoly with guns and no competition, and miraculously suddenly be trusted?

As you probably know, the institution that demands ever more power because of external threats to our security and constantly bashes private companies for not being careful enough with privacy had most of its employee data  stolen by a group of Chinese hackers. After the hack was made public, the government claimed the hack was discovered due to their diligent internal security efforts.  This turns out not to be the case, and the reality is pretty damn funny:

At the time, OPM said the breach was discovered as the agency “has undertaken an aggressive effort to update its cybersecurity posture, adding numerous tools and capabilities to its networks.”

But four people familiar with the investigation said the breach was actually discovered during a mid-April sales demonstration at OPM by a Virginia company called CyTech Services, which has a networks forensics platform called CyFIR. CyTech, trying to show OPM how its cybersecurity product worked, ran a diagnostics study on OPM’s network and discovered malware was embedded on the network. Investigators believe the hackers had been in the network for a year or more.

Update:  Extra points for this one:

The breach has expedited plans by the Senate to vote on cybersecurity legislation, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) saying Tuesday a vote now could be held in the coming days.

Mr. McConnell said he planned to use an annual defense policy bill currently on the Senate floor to advance the cybersecurity measure, which is aimed at responding to a growing prevalence of data breaches at large U.S. companies.

So the government gets breached because it is using outdated software major private companies have long-ago replaced or patched, and the reaction is to...place new demands on private companies?

  • Don

    Well, ONE private company is coming out of this smelling like a rose. CyTech couldn't pay for the publicity it is getting from this deal.

    I wonder if they're hiring. I'd bet they have a crap-load of government contracts coming up.

    Or none, considering how embarrassed the probably made potential purchasers in the Government market. Yeah, that sound more likely.

    Never mind. :)

  • HenryBowman419

    How's this for incentives: the government screws up badly, then the agency at fault pleads that it simply needs much more money to address the problem properly. Next time, we are assured, they'll get it right.

    Just what incentive does such an agency have for not screwing up? The reality is that almost nothing bad ever happens when there is a big screw-up.

  • sch

    One of the reasons for the multi-year delay in F35 introduction into active service was the theft of extensive digital plans and the software
    operating system back in the 2004-2008 time frame, mostly from second level suppliers to Lockheed. A great deal of software had to be
    zeroed out and rewritten.

  • ErikTheRed

    Yeah, it's hard to discuss the security issues around the federal health care databases because all of the really accurate analogies involve tentacle rape pornography.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    "So the government gets breached because it is using outdated software
    major private companies have long-ago replaced or patched, and the
    reaction is to...place new demands on private companies?"

    This happens because no one who is part of the government will believe that the government isn't state of the art on all technology issues, not even when the evidence that they are behind the curve reaches up and bites them in the ass.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    I nominate you for the analogy of the century award.

  • aczarnowski

    Seriously laughing out loud here. Thanks for that.

  • http://vikingvista.blogspot.com/ vikingvista

    "How is it that schlubs who cannot be trusted can be elected by the mass of schlubs who cannot be trusted, placed into a monopoly with guns and no competition, and miraculously suddenly be trusted?"

    Truly great point. But for consistency, it also applies to schlubs organizing for defense, fighting crime, arbitrating disputes, providing a safety net, regulating migration, exploring space, managing a medium of exchange, negotiating trade agreements, controlling substance use, educating kids, certifying professionals, and regulating financial institutions.

    Truly.