Hackers have stolen social security numbers, health histories and other highly sensitive data of more than 21 million people from the federal government, including more than 19 million people who applied for clearances, and nearly 2 million of their spouses, housemates and others who never applied for security clearances, according to the Obama administration on Thursday. Other data like criminal, financial, health, employment and residency histories, and other personal information about their families and acquaintances were also breached.
The government insisted that the data stolen, has not been used yet, but they did not say who was behind the attack. However, multiple U.S. lawmakers, including Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, firmly believe China was behind this attack and the first attack that happened, which was the biggest security breach in U.S. history. China has publicly denied involvement in the breaches. The administration claims it has stepped up its cyber-security efforts by proposing new legislation, urging private industry to share more information about attacks, and examine how the government conducts sensitive background investigations.