US data hack reaches congressional staffers

US data hack reaches congressional staffers
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Congressional staffers received confirmation late Tuesday that their information was likely stolen in the massive Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data breach that has rattled the government.

It was already widely believed that the OPM hack had put every current, former or prospective federal employee at risk across the executive branch, legislative branch and military.

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Officials had initially said the breach only encompassed 4.2 million federal employees, all within the executive branch. But the discovery of a second breach that compromised security clearance data has many expecting the breach to eventually expose up to 14 million people.

According to an email sent to House staff members shortly before midnight Tuesday and obtained by The Hill, many of them are at risk.

“It now appears likely that the service records of current House employees employed previously by ANY federal government entity (including the House, if an individual left the House and later returned to a House position) may have been compromised,” said the email from House chief administrative officer Ed Cassidy.

When staffers leave Capitol Hill, or any federal agency, their retirement records are forwarded to the OPM.

“In addition, the background investigation files of individuals holding security clearances (whether currently active or not) may have been exposed,” the email added.

Senate staffers received a similar email from the Senate Sergeant at Arms several hours earlier on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.