The US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has revealed that hackers stole 21.5 million social security numbers in a devastating security breach that took place in May.
According to Daily Mail, the files included those of 19.7 million individuals who applied for security clearances to qualify for government jobs. The other 1.8 million belonged to non-applicants mostly made up of spouses or partners of the applicants.
At least 1.1 million of the stolen records were fingerprints. This comes after a “separate, but related” incident in April in which files were stolen of 4.2 million current and former federal workers.
Michael Daniel, special assistant to the president and cybersecurity coordinator at the National Security Council, told the press that he was “not prepared to comment” on whether China was behind the hack.
The press release revealed that the stolen files include Social Security Numbers, residency and educational history, employment history, information about immediate family and other personal and business acquaintances, health, criminal and financial history, and more. The government will now need to provide three years of support from a private firm specializing in data breaches for ALL of the victims. This firm will monitor the victims’ children, credit files and identity.
China has denied responsibility for this hacking, and no suspects have been revealed.
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