The hack into the U.S Office of Personal Management that was uncovered in April went undetected for over a year, and could have accessed more information than previously thought, ABC News reports.
The OPM states that, “Family members of employees were not affected by this breach.”
Though the hacking which is believed to have originated from China might have accessed more data. Documents such as SF-86’s used for background investigations include information not only about employees, but is far-reaching enough to potentially include college roommates.
The investigation into the hacking that affected 4 million current and former federal employees is ongoing, and in the upcoming two weeks the OPM will contact employees regarding what information has been compromised.
The hack had been uncovered when OPM started updating its systems. It is believed the hack was ongoing for more than a year before this.
This mass amount of information amassed by Chinese hackers could be used to recruit Americans for espionage. John Schindler, a former intelligence analyst for the NSA writes,”
“They can target Americans in their database for recruitment or influence. After all, they know their vices, every last one — the gambling habit, the inability to pay bills on time, the spats with former spouses, the taste for something sexual on the side (perhaps with someone of a different gender than your normal partner) — since all that is recorded in security clearance paperwork.” (RELATED:The True Impact Of The Chinese OPM Hack Is Only Just Now Being Realized)