More than 21 million Social Security numbers were compromised in a breach that affected a database of sensitive information on federal employees held by the Office of Personnel Management, the agency announced Thursday.
That number is in addition to the 4.2 million Social Security numbers that were compromised in another data breach at OPM that was made public in June. Officials have privately linked both intrusions to China.
Of the 21.5 million records that were stolen, 19.7 million belonged to individuals who had undergone background investigations, OPM said. The remaining 1.8 million records belonged to other individuals, mostly applicants’ families.
The records that were compromised include detailed, sensitive background information, such as employment history, relatives, addresses, and any past drug abuse or emotional disorders. OPM said 1.1 million of the compromised files also included fingerprints.