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OPM Hack May Be Worse Than First Believed, Millions’ Personal Info at Risk

The President of the American Federation of Government Employees says the hack of Office of Personnel Management computers is more far reaching that the Agency has so far revealed.

The letter, which was obtained by the Associated Press, reads in part, “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.” The union says the information comes from the OPM itself via “internal briefings” not given to the public.

The union’s letter to OPS also suggests the hackers had access to unencrypted social security numbers. AFGE’s President called it, “an abysmal failure on the part of the agency to guard data that has been entrusted to it by the federal workforce.” An OPM spokesman told the AP, “for security reasons, we will not discuss specifics of the information that might have been compromised.”

Last week, when news of the hacking first broke, OPM claimed that highly personal information contained in the SF-86 files of those who had applied for government security clearances was not accessed by the hackers. However, in a separate story, ABC News reports that the SF-86 files may have been at risk.

One unnamed US official tells ABC News, “If the SF-86’s associated with this hack were, in their entirety, part of the stolen information, then that would mean the potential release of a staggering amount of information, affecting an exponential amount of people.”

The U.S. intelligence community appears confident that the hack, which began last year, originated in China. Unnamed U.S. officials told the Washington Post last week that the hackers were likely state-sponsored.

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