A massive security breach occurred in what the Office of Personnel Management believe to be a cyber attack on the behalf of Chinese spies.
Originally up from 1.1 million as previously thought, over 5.6 million fingerprints were stolen potentially effecting 21.5 million current and former federal employees or job applicants, according to the Associated Press.
The timing of the incident happens to coincide with President Obama’s visit to China later in the week and a sit down with Chinese President Xi Jinping where cybersecurity is sure to be a topic of discussion.
Both China and North Korea have come under scrutiny recently for cyber attacks on US agencies and businesses and the threat is only growing stronger as more and more data is stored online.
While the breach was severe, the OPM says that the misuse of fingerprint data is limited, but admitted that “this probability could change over time as technology evolves.”
Republicans pundits wasted no time accusing the administration of misplaced focus with preparations going into the visit of the pope to the Capitol today.
“Today’s blatant news dump is the clearest sign yet that the administration still acts like the OPM hack is a PR crisis instead of a national security threat,” said Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.