navigation-background arrow-down-circle Reply Icon Show More Heart Delete Icon wiki-circle wiki-square wiki arrow-up-circle add-circle add-square add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up calendar-circle chat-bubble-2 chat-bubble check-circle check close contact-us credit-card drag menu email embed facebook-circle snapchat-circle facebook-square facebook faq-circle faq film gear google-circle google-square googleplus history home instagram-circle instagram-square instagram linkedin-circle linkedin-square linkedin load monitor Video Player Play Icon person pinterest-circle pinterest-square pinterest play readlist remove-circle remove-square remove search share share2 sign-out star trailer trash twitter-circle twitter-square twitter youtube-circle youtube-square youtube

OPM hack hit potentially millions of troops, vets

July 9, 2015 (Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Social Security numbers, family information, health records and even fingerprints of 21.5 million federal employees — including potentially millions of military personnel — were included a massive data theft last month from the Office of Personnel Management, officials acknowledged Thursday.

OPM Director Katherine Archuleta told reporters on a conference call that a second breach of her office's servers was far more damaging than the first reported breach that affected roughly 4.2 million Americans.

A defense official confirmed Thursday that records of current and former service members dating back to at least 2000 were breached.

President Obama's top cyber security assistant, Michael Daniel, who sits on the National Security Council, told reporters that the cyber threat continues to grow.

"Unfortunately, this incident is not without precedent," Daniel said. "Cyber security threats are growing broader as we hook more and more stuff up to the Internet, and our adversaries are becoming more sophisticated and ... more dangerous."

Archuleta said the hackers obtained a staggering amount of personal identification. Social Security numbers, residency and education information, employment history, health information, criminal histories and financial histories were all breached in the hack, she said.

Also stolen were notes and data obtained by investigators in interviews, as well as personal information of immediate family members, she added.

An OPM release Thursday said the breach affected both security clearance applicants and nearly 2 million spouses and partners.

OPM has "concluded with high confidence that sensitive information, including the Social Security Numbers of 21.5 million individuals, was stolen from the background investigation databases," the release reads. "This includes 19.7 million individuals that applied for a background investigation, and 1.8 million non-applicants, predominantly spouses or co-habitants of applicants."

In June, OPM confirmed that hackers had broken into a database housing background investigations on all current, former and prospective federal employees seeking security clearances over the past 20 years.

FBI Director James Comey told a congressional committee that the database included highly sensitive Standard Form 86 documents, which also include information on family members and close friends, extending the tally beyond just federal employees.

"I'm sure the adversary has my SF 86," Comey said, noting that the form includes information on his family and friends. "The numbers quickly grow far beyond the number of federal employees — which is millions over the last 20 years."

Military Times reporters David Larter, Leo Shane and Jeff Schogol, as well as Federal Times reporter Aaron Boyd, contributed to this report.

Next Article