The data lost covers millions of state sector employees including Social Security numbers and other sensitive information on 21.5 million people who have undergone background checks for security clearances.
This is in addition to data on about 4.2 million current and former federal workers that was stolen in what the OPM called a “separate but related” hacking incident.
Because many people were affected by both hacks, a total of 22.1 million people were affected, or almost seven percent of the US population.
Lawmakers from both parties demanded OPM Director Katherine Archuleta’s removal. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, said President Barack Obama “must take a strong stand against incompetence in his administration and bring in a new leadership at OPM.”
Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner said the technological and security failures at the Office of Personnel Management predate this director’s term, but Director Archuleta’s slow and uneven response has not inspired confidence that she is the right person to manage OPM through this crisis.
Archuleta said no one is going to quit and the White House said Obama retains confidence in her.
As you would expect, the US government is blaming China which is handy because the Chinese government always denies it and no-one ever believes them.
The allegation this time comes from Hillary Clinton who claimed that China was trying to hack everything that was not nailed down in the US.
Clinton said the US must be “fully vigilant” about China’s military, adding that Beijing had stolen commercial secrets from defence contractors and “huge amounts of government information”.
However if it was a Chinese hack, what would they get out of the personal data of millions of ordinary Americans? What is much more likely is that it is the normal team of Russian hackers wanting data to spam people.
Clinton also has a political reason to slag off China. She was previously seen as being soft on the country when she was secretary of state. I blame Microsoft, actually.