Data Thieves May Have Your Fingerprints, Too
It just gets better and better. A US Office of Personnel Management data breach may have resulted in the fingerprints as many as 5.6 million individuals being stolen. Privately, the government is blaming the Chinese. Oh, you don’t say? More than 21 million Americans had their social security numbers and other information stolen.
CNBC reports that representatives of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and Defense Department are coming together to review the implications of the stolen fingerprint data, according to OPM. Talk about closing the barn door after the horses have run out. Don’t expect any big announcements about arrests and convictions any time soon.
All of us are at risk. Here in Texas, the Medicaid records of over 6 million recipients was ‘unintentionally’ left publically accessible (via the internet, of course) for up to 8 years by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. A Texas A & M breech was reported by KBTX TV in Bryan-College Station earlier this year. Social security numbers for over 4,600 faculty and graduate assistants who taught during the Fall 2014 semester at Texas A&M University were viewable from a department website.
One thing we can almost bank on is this: you have no privacy, not a drop. If you’ve applied for credit, a job, bought a house, signed anything, anywhere within the last 15 or so years, someone has stolen your info. Maybe it’s the ChiComs, maybe it’s the Russians. Or maybe it’s the 37 year-old virgin hacker living in his mom and dad’s basement in Ohio. One way or another, you’ve been compromised on some level at some point.
A site called the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has compiled information on various data breaches, from retail to government, since 2005. It’s enlightening and frightening all at once. Given the redundancy that must be maintained to ensure data retention, it’s no shock that it’s so easy to get into your business. And when you consider how quickly we’re being pushed toward the ‘cashless society’ that so many powerful people crave, this problem isn’t going to go away.