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Cyber attack on US affected data of 21.5 mn people

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Washington, A cyber-attack on the US government, allegedly by Chinese hackers, was more severe than initial reports, affecting “sensitive” information of millions of people, the Obama administration has said.

The Office of Personnel Management — victim of the attack that was exposed in June — reported on Thursday that “hackers” robbed personal data, including social security numbers and other information of 21.5 million people, according to Efe news agency.

attackOf these, 19.7 million are people who had applied for jobs in administration or the government and other individuals linked to the public sector, on which the government ran security checks.

The remaining 1.8 million are families of some of the above.

In addition to social security numbers, the hackers also accessed addresses, financial and health histories.

The 21.5 million affected also include people who were victims of another “separate, but related” cyber-attack, affecting 4.2 million current and former federal government employees.

The sum of all those affected by these attacks amount to around seven percent of the US population, making it one of the most damaging attacks ever recorded against the US administration, both in terms of the number affected and sensitivity of stolen data.

Although, there is no “scientific evidence”, voices from US media and politics suspect a Chinese hand.

According to The Washington Post, “China is building massive databases of Americans’ personal information”, for “recruiting spies or gaining more information on an adversary”. (IANS)

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Facebook Introduces Free Online Education Programme in The US

The "We do" module lets educators and students learn together. And the "You do" is designed to help students practice their new skills

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Facebook likely to launch camera-equipped hardware for TVs. Pixabay

Facebook has launched in the US free online education programme CodeFWDTo to increase the numbers of underrepresented and female students interested in pursuing computer programming.

“We’re working on a number of initiatives like CodeFWD to widen the pipeline of diverse talent studying computer science so the next generation of tech innovators reflects and incorporates diverse perspectives, building a future that benefits us all,” Lauryn Ogbechie, Education Partnerships Director at Facebook, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Created in partnership with connected toys maker Sphero, CodeFWD by Facebook, has been designed for both English and Spanish speakers.

It is a three-step programme where educators and organisations introduce computer programming to 4th to 8th grade students.

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Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

With the first module “I do”, CodeFWD prepares educators to introduce the basics of computer programming to their students, even as they may be discovering the concepts themselves.

The “We do” module lets educators and students learn together. And the “You do” is designed to help students practice their new skills.

Also Read- Actress Disha Patani Can’t Judge Herself in Terms of Acting

“After completing these three steps, educators who want to continue developing their students’ coding skills using a tangible, hands-on product can apply to earn a free classroom set of programmable robots from our partners at Sphero,” Ogbechie said. (IANS)

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