Speed Reads

that's not good

Union says Social Security numbers of every federal employee stolen by hackers

The president of a union for government workers believes that hackers stole the personnel data and Social Security numbers of every federal employee during a December data breach.

In a letter sent Thursday to Office of Personnel Management director Katherine Archuleta and obtained by The Associated Press, J. David Cox, president of the American Federal of Government Employees, wrote that the union believes the "Central Personnel Data File was the targeted database, and the hackers are now in possession of all personnel data for every federal employee, every federal retiree, and up to 1 million former federal employees." Each data file contains up to 780 separate pieces of information on an employee, including age, gender, Social Security number, health insurance and pension details, and military records. Cox said the union also believes the Social Security numbers were not encrypted, "a cybersecurity failure that is absolutely indefensible and outrageous."

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who was briefed on the case, said on the Senate floor that the hack was by "the Chinese," but did not say if it was tied to the government or individuals. China has denied being involved in the hacking, and a spokesman for the Office of Personnel Management said for security reasons, he could not comment.