When the US Government faced a hack last week, the original thought was that a few hundred people were impacted by the attack. Today, new numbers pop up that are a lot more startling. Around 21.5 million people have been impacted by this attack, and that’s a big problem.
Who Was Impacted
The US Government is still not saying who was responsible for the hack, but some have pointed fingers at China. The hacked information was stolen from The Office of Personnel Management, and the details that were stolen were social security numbers, names, and other sensitive details for those millions of people that have already undergone government security checks. Most of these people work within the government, and the information stolen could mean big trouble for some of those people.
The Office of Personnel Management faced another, separate, attack recently as well. During that attack, information from 4.2 million current and past federal workers was stolen. Again, no fingers were pointed during that attack, though millions of people had their personal data stolen. If you break it all down, nearly 7% of the population in the US has had information stolen during these attacks.
Not only did past and future government employees have information stolen, but spouses and other family members of those people had information stolen as well. The Office of Personnel Management contains a lot of sensitive information for people that may have applied for a government job in the past or currently hold one. Since government applications and background checks have to extend to family members, this information is also kept on file at that government office.
How the hacks happened remains to be seen, but the office is working to figure it all out. As mentioned, some are pointing fingers at China, but there is no evidence to prove that this is the case at this time. Regardless, someone out there has the personal information of millions of people, and this could be very dangerous for obvious reasons.
Many additional technology hacks have been happening lately as well. This is not the first time that the US Government has faced a hack attack in the past year, and it doesn’t look like it will be the last. There’s no information yet as to how the hacks have happened, or why that particular government office was targeted (though anyone looking to steal sensitive data would target the office where all of that data is kept).
Hopefully the US Government has found the loophole and fixed it, but no news has been reported yet. So far, it seems like that particular government office has been slow to respond to the hacks. If additional information is stolen within the next few months, it could spell even more trouble for those people that were impacted by the hacks. The news that surfaced this morning about the actual number of people impacted was shocking to most. Millions is a long way from the hundreds that were originally thought to be a part of this hacking plan.