Breach, Data Security

OPM increases number of stolen fingerprints in data breach to 5.6 million

The number of fingerprints impacted in the second Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data breach has increased by 4.5 million.

The government's HR agency initially reported 1.1 million stolen fingerprints, a subset of the 21.5 million Social Security Numbers (SSNs) stolen, in July. On Wednesday morning, however, OPM's press secretary confirmed an increase to 5.6 million.

Impacted individuals will soon receive notification letters.

“Federal experts believe that, as of now, the ability to misuse fingerprint data is limited,” the press release said. “However, this probability could change over time as technology evolves.”

An interagency group, including the FBI, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Defense (DoD), are exploring ways in which the fingerprint data could be abused and will provide continued support for victims if/when new technology allows for unforeseen use for the stolen information.

The agency said it did not expect the total stolen number of SSNs to increase.

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