Government Hack Now at 'Staggering' 22M People

Numbers from OPM breaches keep growing
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2015 3:27 PM CDT
The Homeland Security Department headquarters in northwest Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

(Newser) – It's the government hack that keeps growing: Authorities now estimate that hackers got personal information on more than 22 million people in two separate breaches of the Office of Personnel Management, reports Politico. Both hacks occurred last year, with the biggest of the two affecting 21.5 million people—a total that includes people who had sought government background checks, along with spouses, partners, or others who lived with them, reports the Washington Post. The smaller hack affected about 4 million people, but with overlap between the two, the total number of victims is pegged at 22.1 million. The stolen information includes Social Security numbers and fingerprints.

Pretty much anyone who has had an OPM background check since 2000 should consider their information compromised. The Post thinks the revised numbers will raise pressure on OPM chief Katherine Archuleta to resign, given that the agency had been warned about its vulnerabilities before the breaches. But Archuleta reiterated today that she would not. "Staggering," says an official with the National Federation of Federal Employees of the new total. "Not only do federal employees have to worry about their own personal information being exposed—but they must also worry about their spouse and children having their information compromised." (The best guess is that the hackers were from China.)

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