ERI’s John Shegerian Points to Lack of Recycling Protocol as Reason for Massive Social Security Number Hack

Categories: John Shegerian

Citing recent news reports that data theft from the Office of Personnel Management computer systems compromised sensitive personal information, including Social Security numbers, of 21.5 million people, John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the nation’s leading recycler of electronic waste and world’s largest cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company, said that lack of a national electronics recycling protocol could largely be to blame.

With government investigators now reporting that hackers obtained information from the security clearance applications – known as SF-86’s – of 19.7 million people, plus information from another 1.8 million non-applicants, comprised mostly of spouses and partners of applicants, Shegerian noted that despite officials believing China to be the primary suspect, such large-scale breaches are likely happening because the government has no consistent national protocol on how to responsibly recycle its electronic hardware assets.

“We are faced today with an increasingly dangerous situation that starkly illustrates just how serious a problem cybercrime has become,” said Shegerian.

“It’s a significant risk to our national security. Be it a smartphone, any and all hard drives or private data on military intelligence officers, technology today is far too vulnerable to the attacks of cyber thieves. The good news is there is a way to help prevent future hacks. Our government must make effective and responsible electronic recycling practices a priority as soon as possible if we are to curb these breaches.”

“Responsibly recycling all old and unwanted items – government or otherwise – here in the United States, is crucial,” added Shegerian. “Our digital security, our environment and the reliability of the new devices we purchase all rest in the balance of us recycling the right way.”

Shegerian also noted ERI currently provides the only nationwide solution offering 100-percent guaranteed data destruction for government, business and consumer electronics devices and e-waste.