Foundation Critical of Obama's Cybersecurity Hacked, Donor Data Stolen
On July 27, in the wake of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data breach, The Daily Signal ran a story titled "How Obama’s Poor Judgment Led to the Chinese Hack of OPM." The article asserted that Katherine Archuleta, appointed by Obama as director of OPM, was unfit to run the agency, and criticized the administration for prioritizing "ideological purity over competency when selecting appointees whose job is to protect America."
"The real issue raised by the cyber attacks on OPM is that neither Obama nor his White House team prioritized the personnel suitability and security clearance mission performed by OPM," wrote Paul Conway, who authored the story. "So, not surprisingly, neither did former OPM Director Katherine Archuleta."
The Daily Signal, as it happens, is the multimedia news arm of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C.
And earlier this week, The Heritage Foundation was hacked.
"We experienced a malicious, unauthorized data breach of six-year-old documents on an external server that appear to contain personal information of private donors, who we are notifying," said The Heritage Foundation spokesman Wesley Denton in a statement posted to the organization's website. "We are unable to verify the authenticity of files circulated online." The foundation's internal servers were unaffected.
According to The Hill, The Heritage Foundation told USA Today in 2012 that it had been the target of an unsuccessful cyber attack by Chinese hackers. This time, it wasn't so lucky. And while it's unclear whether the recent attack was in retaliation for The Daily Signal's criticism of the Obama administration's cybersecurity policies, the data breach is, at the very least, a reminder that data security should be a top priority for all organizations—conservative or liberal, nonprofit or for-profit, large or small.