OPM: hackers accessed more than 5 million government workers’ fingerprints

individuals’ background check and security clearance data from as long as three decades ago. Last week, OPM admitted that during that breach, hackers accessed up to 5.6 million government workers’ fingerprints. Though the department did not disclose whose fingerprint data was compromised, the fingerprints are suspected to belong to military and intelligence personnel that maintain security clearances. In a statement, OPM stated that it would provide free credit monitoring to all the employees whose fingerprints may be compromised. “Federal experts believe that, as of now, the ability to misuse fingerprint data is limited,” the statement read. However, there is concern that — as technology evolves to include more biometric authentication features — government security systems may be more easily breached in the future by hackers or foreign governments. In addition, unlike passwords, fingerprint information is permanently linked to an individual. “The interagency team will continue to review the impacted data to enhance its quality and completeness, and to monitor for any misuse of the data,” said the OPM in its statement. In addition to the fingerprints, OPM confirmed that the hackers gained access to those employees’ clearance questionnaires, which contain information that could be used to blackmail government employees.]]>

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