Government Official Used Fake Degrees To Land Sensitive Data Position Before Massive Security Breach.
The disturbing news that foreign hackers attacked the government's Office of Personnel Management and stole potentially millions of persons data now has another, equally disturbing angle. News has broken that a key IT official in the department falsified his college records when he was applying for his job and that the official didn't have any formal college training.
Faisal Ahmed, a senior technology official who worked with the Department of the Interior from 2007 to 2013, falsified his college records, claiming that he studied at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh and also at the University of Central Florida.
Ahmed obtained his fake transcripts from an online service but the lies were uncovered when someone from the University of Central Florida discovered his claims on LinkedIn.
To add insult to injury, however, Ahmed wasn't immediately dismissed from government service, but merely transferred departments. He is currently still employed by the Census Bureau, a fact proves the adage that landing a job is more about who you know than what you know.
Ahmed not only faked his college records, but he also applied for government funds to enroll in a post-graduate seminar at Harvard University, at a cost to taxpayers of over $21,000.
Who knows what part Ahmed had in the breach of personal data by hackers. It's unlikely that he was manipulated by outside sources or was any kind of plant to enable the breach. But the fact remains that Ahmed lacked formal IT training and was working in a critical role. Perhaps if the government had employed someone with actual credentials procedures would have been in place that could have stopped the hackers.
It's unfortunate as well that the government is unwilling to admit its wrongdoing and dismiss Ahmed from government employment. When someone lies or cheats in the real-world there are consequences. It appears that the government doesn't operate in the real world because Ahmed is still unscathed.