The hackers who breached the US Office of Personnel Management accessed a second set of even more highly sensitive data, it was widely reported Friday, in revelations that make the breach one of the biggest thefts of data on federal workers.
Investigators probing the compromise have "a high degree of confidence that OPM systems containing information related to the background investigations of current, former, and prospective federal government employees, and those for whom a federal background investigation was conducted, may have been exfiltrated," Samuel Schumach, a spokesman for the personnel agency, said in a statement to Bloomberg News Friday. The second set of data files likely included highly sensitive information from forms filled out by people applying for jobs that require security clearances.
The 127-page questionnaires ask about criminal and arrest records, mental illnesses, drug and alcohol problems, and financial data for the applicant and often family members, friends and acquaintances. Previously, Bloomberg and other news organizations said such records had been breached, but White House officials declined to confirm the theft.