An American labor union said hackers are now in possession of sensitive personnel information on all federal employees following a major cyber intrusion that U.S. officials say originated in China.
The American Federation of Government Employees made the claim Thursday in a letter to the Office of Personnel Management, or OPM, the federal government's human resources agency that was targeted.
"The hackers are now in possession of all personnel data for every federal employee, every federal retiree, and up to one million former federal employees," said union president David Cox in the letter.
The OPM said last week as many as 4 million current and former federal employees may have been affected by the December hacking, in what is the most extensive breach of government personnel data in years.
The stolen information includes Social Security numbers, addresses, birth dates, as well as job and salary histories, according to the AFGE, which based its assertion on what it said was incomplete information provided by the OPM.
The agency, citing security concerns, so far has failed to provide detailed information about what exact information was stolen or what personnel were targeted.
The AFGE said the breach represents an "abysmal failure on the part of the agency to guard data that has been entrusted to it by the federal workforce."
Some U.S. officials and lawmakers have said China-based hackers, possibly with links to Beijing, carried out the attack. China dismissed the accusations as "irresponsible."