By KEN DILANIAN
Hackers stole personnel data and Social Security numbers for every federal employee, a government worker union said Thursday, asserting that the cyber theft of U.S. employee information was more damaging than the Obama administration has acknowledged.
Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, said on the Senate floor that the December hack into Office of Personnel Management data was carried out by “the Chinese” without specifying whether he meant the Chinese government or individuals. Reid is one of eight lawmakers briefed on the most secret intelligence information. U.S. officials have declined to publicly blame China, which has denied involvement.
J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said in a letter to OPM director Katherine Archuleta that based on the incomplete information the union received from OPM, “We believe that the Central Personnel Data File was the targeted database, 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.”
The OPM data file contains the records of non-military, non-intelligence executive branch employees, which covers most federal civilian employees but not, for example, members of Congress and their staffs.
The union believes the hackers stole military records and veterans’ status information, address, birth date, job and pay history, health insurance, life insurance and pension information; and age, gender and race data, he said. The letter was obtained by The Associated Press. Read more