The largest government hack in history is even larger than officials have admitted, with some sources saying every single federal employee had personal information stolen, including social security numbers.

In a letter obtained by the AP, American Federal of Government Employees president J. David Cox alleged that the data breach of the government’s civil service human resources division, the US Office of Personnel Management, is way worse than it looks:

‚ÄúBased on the sketchy information OPM has provided, we believe that the Central Personnel Data File was the targeted database, and that the hackers are now in possession of all personnel data for every federal employee, every federal retiree, and up to one million former federal employees.‚ÄĚ

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The letter called the OPM‚Äôs failure to encrypt social security numbers ‚Äúabsolutely indefensible and outrageous.‚ÄĚ

Other government sources told ABC News that the breach may hurt the family members of federal employees as well, even though OPM denies that hackers got ahold of family members’ files:

However, U.S. officials speaking on the condition of anonymity say unequivocally such information was put at serious risk by the OPM hack. Of utmost concern are U.S. employees stationed overseas, including in countries such as China, whose government would covet personal information on relatives and contacts of American officials living in the communist country, according to officials.

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Chinese hackers have been fingered as suspects, but the US government hasn’t publicly assigned blame, or a motive.

[AP | ABC News]


Contact the author at kate.knibbs@gizmodo.com.
Public PGP key
PGP fingerprint: FF8F 0D7A AB19 6D71 C967 9576 8C12 9478 EE07 10C

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