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Cybersecurity Resource Center

What Happened

OPM recently discovered two separate but related cybersecurity incidents that have impacted the data of Federal government employees, contractors, and others:

  1. In June 2015, OPM discovered that the background investigation records of current, former, and prospective Federal employees and contractors had been stolen. OPM and the interagency incident response team have concluded with high confidence that sensitive information, including the Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of 21.5 million individuals, was stolen from the background investigation databases. This includes 19.7 million individuals that applied for a background investigation, and 1.8 million non-applicants, primarily spouses or co-habitants of applicants. Some records also include findings from interviews conducted by background investigators and approximately 5.6 million include fingerprints. Usernames and passwords that background investigation applicants used to fill out their background investigation forms were also stolen. Notifications for this incident started on September 30, 2015. We estimate notifications will continue for approximately 12 weeks.

    While background investigation records do contain some information regarding mental health and financial history provided by applicants and people contacted during the background investigation, there is no evidence that health, financial, payroll and retirement records of Federal personnel or those who have applied for a Federal job were impacted by this incident (for example, annuity rolls, retirement records, USA JOBS, Employee Express).

  2. Earlier in 2015, OPM discovered that the personnel data of 4.2 million current and former Federal government employees had been stolen. This means information such as full name, birth date, home address and Social Security Numbers were affected. You should have already received a notification if you were impacted by this incident.

OPM and an interagency team from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been investigating these incidents, and are working to put in place changes that will prevent similar thefts in the future. Based on the analysis and forensics to date, the interagency incident response team assesses that the adversary is no longer active on OPM’s network.

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