A breach of U.S. government computers—presumably launched by China—is looking immensely worse than first expected. The AP reports that a federal employee’s union now says literally every single government worker is the victim of an enormous personal information heist.
The revelation comes from a letter by federal union boss J. David Cox to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management:
This means that extremely sensitive information—the kind identity thieves drool over—has been lifted from everyone from the EPA to DARPA, the AP explains:
J. David Cox, president of the American Federal of Government Employees, said in a letter to OPM director Katherine Archuleta that based on OPM’s internal briefings, the hackers stole military records and veterans’ status information, address, birth date, job and pay history, health insurance, life insurance, and pension information; age, gender, race data.
“Based 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.”
The report adds that none of these millions of social security numbers were even encrypted in the first place, and the OPM (where the breach originated) sounds like it’s doing a poor job responding to the attack. From the letter:
Further, the fact that OPM has outsourced to a contractor, CSID, the responsibility for answering affected employees’ questions adds insult to injury. The terms of the contract apparently do not include guaranteed access to a living, breathing human being knowledgeable enough to answer questions.
You can read the full letter from J. David Cox, president of the AFGE union, to OPM director Katherine Archuleta, below:
Photo: U.S. Office of Personnel Management/Getty