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article imageU.S. Office of Personnel Management hack 'much bigger'

By Tim Sandle     Sep 25, 2015 in Crime
Washington - A recent computer hack, targeting the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, was worse than previously reported, with millions of fingerprint records taken.
A White House statement this week indicates more than 5.6 million fingerprint records have been stolen from the Office of Personnel Management. This is way above initial estimates, Tripwire reports, which put the figure closer to the 1 million mark.
In the U,S., the Office of Personnel Management plays a major role. It is the central the personnel office for the U.S. government and maintains records on some 21.5 million federal staff.
The hack dates back to June 2015, with the blame placed at the door of China. The hack affected many other types of records and seems to have been going on for more than a year. The dscover about the data loss was eventually made using the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT)'s Einstein intrusion-detection program.
Types of data stolen from the U.S. government included social security numbers, names, addresses, health, financial and biometric data. Over 20 million people were potentially affected in relation to at least one piece of information.
The revelation about the extent of extracted fingerprint data is significant because these data can be used directly as means of stealing a person's identify. The White House has been coy about the significance of almost 6 million stolen fingerprint records. In a statement, an official said: "An inter-agency working group with expertise in this area ... will review the potential ways adversaries could misuse fingerprint data now and in the future,"
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