OPM Fingerprint Hack 5 Times Worse Than Previously Thought

Government officials now say 5.6 million people’s fingerprints were stolen; initial estimates over the summer were 1.1 million.

The cybersecurity breach at the Office of Personnel Management just got scarier. Five times scarier, in fact.

The agency now believes 5.6 million fingerprints were stolen in the hacks, more than five times the original estimate of 1.1 million released back in the summer, The Washington Post reports.

OPM and the Department of Defense identified the additional fingerprint data that was exposed after reviewing the theft of background investigation records, according to an OPM statement.

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“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 Post. “I’m surprised they didn’t have structures in place to determine the number of fingerprints compromised earlier during the investigation.”

Fingerprint data is an especially concerning threat to one’s security since it cannot be changed like a password.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) didn’t hold back in his disdain for OPM and how it “keeps getting it wrong.”

“I have zero confidence in OPM’s competence and ability to manage this crises,” he said.

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