Government to Spend $133M on ID Theft Protection for OPM Hack Victims

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By James Eng

The Obama administration will spend more than $133 million to provide ID theft protection services to the 21.5 million people whose personal information was stolen in a devastating hack of the Office of Personnel Management. The OPM and Defense Department announced Tuesday they have awarded a contract for that amount to Portland, Oregon-based ID Experts. The company will provide the hack victims and their dependent minor children with free credit monitoring, identity monitoring, identity theft insurance and identity restoration services for three years.

"Millions of individuals, through no fault of their own, had their personal information stolen and we’re committed to standing by them, supporting them, and protecting them against further victimization," Beth Cobert, acting director of OPM, said in a statement. "And as someone whose own information was stolen, I completely understand the concern and frustration people are feeling."

Related: White House Says 30-Day 'Cybersecurity Sprint' Was Only a Start

The government is mailing out notices to those impacted by the data breach beginning later this month.

Federal officials have said that the breach of OPM computer systems earlier this year exposed sensitive information including Social Security numbers for 21.5 million people from both inside and outside the government. That includes virtually everyone who applied for a government background check from 2000 on, OPM said. The fallout from the breach led to the resignation of Katherine Archuleta as OPM director.