Over 19 Million Social Security Numbers Stolen From Background Checks

Over 21 million social security numbers were reportedly stolen in a massive data breach conducted in May.

The Daily Mail reports that, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 19.7 million of the victims affected by the data breach applied for security clearances to qualify for government jobs.

The remaining 1.8 million victims did not submit applications. On the contrary, they were reportedly associated with the applicants as partners and spouses.

When asked to confirm whether or not China was responsible for the massive data breach, the cyber security coordinator of the National Security Council (Michael Daniel) stated that he was not “prepared to comment” on that particular topic.

This particular incident is separate “but related” to the massive data breach that made headlines back in April. During that particular data breach, over 4 million federal workers (past and present) were affected. Daily Mail reports that the social security numbers of those affected employees were stolen as well.

According to the Office of Personnel Management, there is a key similarity that links both of these breaches together. The report confirms that both incidents were discovered during a forensics investigation. The investigations in both cases were specifically designed to focus on the management processes and procedures of federal data.

The report further states that the government is now forced to follow a three-year requirement that will ensure third-party support due to the recent history of massive data breaches.

The three-year requirement calls for third-party support provided by a private firm that specializes in cyber-crimes and data breaches. A highlight of this requirement is the broad range of people that must receive that support — all 21.5 million victims. According to the report, the support will allow the affected victims to effectively monitor their credit files, identity, as well as their children.

Shortly after the news of the May data breach was reported, another major announcement followed shortly thereafter.

Katherine Archuleta, the director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), actually fought against the calls for her to resign from her prominent position within the agency.

According to the Daily Mail, Archuleta decided to stay on-board and work hard to resolve the major oversight which left the agency vulnerable and openly exposed to the hackers responsible for the recent data breaches and stolen social security numbers.

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