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Over 21 million Americans have personal data stolen, likely by Chinese government


This news story was published on July 10, 2015.
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china-and-united-statesWASHINGTON, D.C. – Millions of persons who applied for jobs with the federal government – and even their spouses – have had personal data stolen by hackers, most likely the Chinese government.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – within the federal executive branch – and an interagency incident response team have concluded with high confidence that sensitive information, including the Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of 21.5 million individuals, was stolen from the background investigation databases. This includes 19.7 million individuals that applied for a background investigation, and 1.8 million non-applicants, primarily spouses or co-habitants of applicants. Some records also include findings from interviews conducted by background investigators and approximately 1.1 million include fingerprints. Usernames and passwords that background investigation applicants used to fill out their background investigation forms were also stolen.

Originally, the OPM said personnel data of only 4.2 million current and former Federal government employees had been stolen, but has since revised that number much higher.

The government has refused to officially point a finger, but widespread reports say officials are blaming the Chinese government for the hack attack. Republicans are calling on President Obama to fire the director of the OPM, Katherine Archuleta, but he has resisted thus far.

The OPM says it is continuing to investigate and monitor the situation. Officials there advise anyone who may have been affected to visit IdentityTheft.gov to learn how to set up protections from identity theft.

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2 Responses to Over 21 million Americans have personal data stolen, likely by Chinese government

  1. LVS Reply Report comment

    July 10, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Shame on our government. They were running a program from the 90’s and anyone could have hacked into it. They should be fired over this, but, of course nothing will happen to anyone in this administration. There is no accountability from the top down.

  2. sherryl Reply Report comment

    July 10, 2015 at 10:32 am

    America taught the Chinese all the technology—now they can steal from us!