OPM Says Way More Fingerprint Data Stolen than Reported

In July, it was revealed that the personal information of 21.5 million current and former federal workers was compromised in a cyberattack against the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). That was worse than the 4 million people originally thought to be affected -- and the bad news just keeps trickling out.

Yesterday, OPM said that the U.S. Department of Defense identified archived records containing additional fingerprint data that had not previously analyzed. The bottom line: another 4 million-plus people need to be concerned. These new revelations bring the total number of people whose fingerprints were stolen from about 1.1 million to about 5.6 million. However, the overall total of those affected in the breach remains at 21.5 million.

EUFederal experts believe that, as of now, the ability to misuse fingerprint data is limited. However, this probability could change over time as technology evolves,EU OPM said in a statement. EUTherefore, an interagency working group with expertise in this area -- including the FBI, DHS, DOD, and other members of the intelligence community -- will review the potential ways adversaries could misuse fingerprint data now and in the future.EU

An Unending Ripple Effect

OPM said this group will also work to develop ways to prevent abuse and said it would keep those affected informed of new discoveries and any new means developed to abuse the fingerprint data. In other words, the ripple effect could ripple for years or even decades as criminals get smarter.

Although it's unclear where the hack originated, Republican Senator Susan Collins from Maine, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has said the attack "has the hallmarks of a sophisticated attack, and we know there are countries who currently possess the capabilities to conduct such an attack, including Russia, China, and Iran."

EUOPM and our partners across government are working to protect the safety...

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