View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
  2. Cybersecurity
September 24, 2015

OPM admits 5.6m fingerprint records stolen in breach

News: The number of stolen fingerprint records has risen from 1.1m.

By Charlotte Henry

The US Government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has now admitted that 5.6m fingerprint records have been stolen, over five times the 1.1m that it originally thought.

In total, the records of 21.5m have been breached, and the attack has resulted in the resignation of Katherine Archuleta as the head of OPM.

In a statement, OPM’s official spokesman said:

"Of the 21.5m individuals whose Social Security Numbers and other sensitive information were impacted by the breach, the subset of individuals whose fingerprints have been stolen has increased from a total of approximately 1.1 million to approximately 5.6 million."

However, the spokesman insisted that "Federal experts believe that, as of now, the ability to misuse fingerprint data is limited."

The loss of data as highly sensitive as fingerprints has consequences beyond that of other breaches, explains Bryan Lillie, CTO, at cyber security firm QinetiQ:

"Theft of biometric data introduces ethical issues. The people who have fingerprint data stored now have no control over what it is used for, which could include identify theft and access to secure systems. It’s not like stealing money which can be reimbursed."

Content from our partners
Technology and innovation can drive post-pandemic recovery for logistics sector
How to engage in SAP monitoring effectively in an era of volatility
How to turn the evidence hackers leave behind against them

"Big data thefts like these compromise not just individuals, but your entire system, and maybe other systems which also rely on that same data for security."

The breach is thought to have been conducted by hackers in China, and has provoked wide ranging comment from security experts.

 

 

 

 

Topics in this article :
Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.
THANK YOU