Hackers took the fingerprints of 5.6 million people during the U.S. Office of Personnel Management breach, more than five times the 1.1 million previously estimated, officials said this week.
The New York Times reported
that the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and other intelligence agencies have announced they will coordinate their efforts through an "interagency working group" to determine how "adversaries could misuse fingerprint data now and in the future."
As when the cyberbreach first occurred, lawmakers like Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, pulled no punches when commenting on the current situation.
"OPM keeps getting it wrong," he said. "I have zero confidence in OPM’s competence and ability to manage this crisis."
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, said Wednesday "the massive new number of employees’ fingerprints that was breached is shocking."
Many in the technology community were also critical.
"The fact that the number [of fingerprints breached] just increased by a factor of five is pretty mind-boggling," Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the chief technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology, told The Washington Post
. "I’m surprised they didn't have structures in place to determine the number of fingerprints compromised earlier during the investigation."
The revised estimate comes just a day before Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for his scheduled trip to the U.S., where President Barack Obama is expected to focus their conversations on cyberespionage.
Benjamin J. Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, said Tuesday in regard to Xi's visit that "as the two largest economies in the world, I think we can lead an effort to develop international norms that govern cyberactivity."
In June, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper identified China as "the leading suspect" of the cyberattack on OPM.
The cyberbreach forced the agency’s director, Katherine Archuleta, to resign in July.
In addition to the more than 5 million fingerprints stolen, hackers likely obtained the social security numbers and other personal data from 21.5 million people. Wired magazine reported
that hackers accessed many victims' SF-86 forms, "security clearance questionnaires that include highly personal information such as previous drug use or extramarital affairs that could be used for blackmail."
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.