The Social Security numbers of every current and retired federal employee were stolen by hackers, according to a federal employee union president.
J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), made the claim in a letter to Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
“Hackers are now in possession of all personnel data for every federal employee, every federal retiree, and up to one million former federal employees,” wrote Cox. He also believes hackers stole military records, addresses, birth dates, health insurance forms and various other records belonging to federal workers.
Cox went on to claim that the OPM was negligent in not taking proper security measures to protect the private information of employees.
“We believe that Social Security numbers were not encrypted, a cybersecurity failure that is absolutely indefensible and outrageous,” Cox wrote.
Government officials, including Sen. Harry Reid, had previously acknowledged the hack but were not forthcoming about its massive scale. Although there has been no public accusation from the government, Chinese hackers are the prime suspects. However, “Chinese hackers” might also be the government’s way of saying “we have no idea what the hell happened.”
A spokesman for the OPM declined to comment on the matter, citing, ironically, security concerns. But at this point I think it’s safe to assume the feds are simply waiting for a Chinese guy to show up at Target with a Barack H. Obama credit card.