An unknown group of hackers may have stolen information on every single employee of the federal government.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which holds records on federal employees and handles their security clearances, announced on June 4 that hackers stole four million records on federal employees.
The national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, J. David Cox, sent a letter to the director of OPM. According to Fox News, he stated that the breach of OPM was much broader than what was is being reported.
He said they believe the hackers breached the Central Personnel Data File at OPM, “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.”
More than 90 percent of federal background checks are performed by the OPM, so the organization has an enormous amount of personal information about federal employees.
According to Fox News, Cox said the hackers stole information on Social Security numbers, military records, addresses, birth dates, pay histories, health insurance and pension information.
The validity of Cox’s comments could not be verified. As the head of a union representing more than 650,000 federal government employees, Cox is asking that all federal employees be given free credit monitoring for life, and liability insurance that covers any loss from the breach.
“Federal employees who have been victimized by this breach deserve more than a difficult-to-navigate website and call center contractors who do not know answers to questions that go beyond a FAQ template,” Cox said.
Many experts believe the attacks were launched by Chinese hackers. The attacks were carried out with tools used by a known Chinese hacker group, dubbed “Deep Panda” by security experts. Chinese hackers had also tried and failed to breach the OPM network in March 2014.
The origin of the recent attack, however, has not yet been confirmed.