BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Nearly 22 million Americans hacked. The FBI now says the biggest ever government breach targeted background checks full of information from federal workers, their families and even friends.
Rick Ritter explains the massive impact on Marylanders.
Everything from social security numbers to health records were compromised. The FBI’s director calls it a treasure trove of information about anyone who has ever worked for the U.S. government.
The most detrimental cyber attack ever against the government just got even bigger.
The latest investigation reveals hackers stole 19.7 million social security numbers from those who underwent federal government background checks.
“I’m devastated. I’ve been violated,” said one federal worker.
Suspected Chinese hackers also captured addresses, education and employment history, along with mental health, criminal and financial records–all from the Office of Personnel Management.
“They’ll find a million ways to use this, and none of them will be good for the U.S.,” said James Lewis, cyber security analyst.
Workers–left outraged–like a woman who’s been at the social security building in Woodlawn for 15 years, but didn’t want to be identified.
“We’ve been violated, especially with this government. You think they would better protect us,” she said.
Officials say the attack also compromised information of close acquaintances and family members of federal employees.
Office of Personnel Management Director Katherin Archuleta remains in the hot seat, while Maryland Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger remains furious.
“I’m calling out for Congress and the president to make it one of the highest priorities,” said Rep. Ruppersberger.
He says the U.S. continues to fail in addressing the attacks properly and it’s only a matter of time before the government is targeted again.
“It’s going to take money, it’s going to take resources and it’s going to take people who are trained to make this one of the highest priorities,” said Ruppersberger.
Some have urged President Obama to fire the OPM director. Earlier Thursday, she said she will not resign.
The government says, so far, there is no evidence the stolen data has been used for identity theft or other financial crimes.