Wow. Remember the gigantic hack into the database of the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management? Well it turns out that the hack has affected an estimated additional 21.5 million current and former federal workers, along with their families and friends. In short, this is a complete disaster.
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“The 21.5 million figure includes 19.7 million individuals who applied for a background investigation, and 1.8 million non-applicants, predominantly spouses or people who live with the applicants,” reports The Washington Post. “Some records also include findings from interviews conducted by background investigators, and about 1.1 million include fingerprints, officials said.”
The newly disclosed 21.5 million affected workers are actually in addition to a separate hack of OPM’s systems that exposed the personal information of 4 million federal workers, including their Social Security numbers.
The American Federal of Government Employees union last month claimed that the government was misleading the public over just how devastating this hack really was and it claimed at the time that hackers were able to steal Social Security numbers from every federal employee, as those vitally important numbers were not encrypted.
Federal officials believe the hackers who conducted both operations were working for the Chinese government, the Post reports.