Counterspy Chief Dismisses Senate Questions About OPM Hacks

Insists Insecurity at OPM Wasn't His Responsibility

Sen. Ron Wyden (D – OR) is trying to get answers on the massive Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hack, dubbed the largest hack in US government history, ahead of votes on increasing the government’s cybersecurity power. He’s not getting far, however.

National Counterintelligence Executive William Evanina, nominally the top cybersecurity official in the US, spurned questions from Sen. Wyden about the matter, saying he was asking the wrong person about the OPM, because cybersecurity there isn’t his responsibility.

Evanina went on to say that his authority doesn’t include any efforts to identify and particular cybersecurity vulnerabilities to anyone in the US government, nor providing any specific recommendations to anyone on how to fix them.

Wyden complained this was a “bureaucratic response” and said it was “unworthy” of the position of defending the nation from cyberspies. The official response from Evanina only defended the decision to keep 30 years worth of personnel data on the insecure server for “information purposes.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.