The data breach at the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is slowly shaping up to be one of the biggest hacks in the country’s history, the Department of Defense (DoD) revealing that, besides the personal information of over 21 million American government officials, the hackers might have gotten their hands on fingerprint records for over 5.6 million employees.
While initial reports placed the OPM hack at around 1.1 million affected people, as time went by, the number grew to 4 million, then 18 million, before finally ballooning at 21 million in the most recent official statement.
Now, as the OPM internal security team is investigating the incident alongside the DoD, new information has come to light, according to which, some of the servers on which the hackers found their way into also contained biometrics data, fingerprints, to be more exact.
FBI officials say that, while this data is quite harmless at the moment, it could still be used in upcoming years, as fingerprints will slowly start to replace passwords.
One of the companies pioneering this trend is Apple, which included its Touch ID system in its latest iOS 9 release.
Besides phones and tablets, the technology is also expected to be used with online banking services, providing a much safer and quicker way to authenticate, eliminating many of the current entry points for hackers, which most of the times are targeting the user’s alpha-numeric passwords.
This is just an update on the OPM hack, and we’ll be following it to bring you more details as the investigators churn through the data.