Cabinet secretaries possibly exposed in data breach

Cabinet secretaries possibly exposed in data breach

The personal information of current and former Cabinet secretaries might have been stolen as part of the recent massive government data breach that exposed the data of 4 million government employees, according to ABC News.

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Government officials told the network that the data stolen from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) could have also included information about Cabinet secretaries and employees of the Secret Service, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

President Obama and Vice President Biden are likely not at risk, the network reports, because the OPM treats their data differently from other government employees. Military and intelligence information is also secure, but employees could still be at risk if they spent time at another agency, a common practice among government employees.

A source told ABC that the data could be used to track relationships as “social engineering on a huge level, building a database of who works with who.” That could allow hackers to trick other members of the government into giving out more personal information, or to gather more intelligence.

The federal government is continuing to investigate the hack, which was first announced by the OPM last week. While some anonymous government officials have blamed China for the attack, the White House has said there has been no official determination of the culprit.

“Even if a conclusion is reached about who is responsible, I can't guarantee necessarily that our law enforcement professionals will assess that making that information public is in the best interest of their investigation,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said last week.