Foreign hackers reportedly stole personal information from numerous government employees, including information regarding their sex lives.
The data breach of the government's Office of Personnel Management was first reported earlier this month and may have affected as many as 18 million people, according to The Daily Beast.
Among the compromised files is what is known as "adjudication information." It consists of intimate details pried from workers and contractors who applied for security clearances.
At least some of these details were allegedly obtained through polygraph examinations that tested whether or not the applicant engaged in any risky behavior regarding gambling, substance abuse or even his or her choice of sexual partner.
One former US official reportedly said he was asked if he ever had sex with an animal, while another applicant was supposedly forced to reveal he had an affair with his former college roommate's wife for over 20 years.
The file of a third applicant stated he was discovered watching porn at work and didn't tell his wife.
Adjudicators, or those responsible for obtaining this information, are instructed to look for "a pattern of compulsive, self-destructive or high risk sexual behavior."
One US official told The Daily Beast adjudication information provides "enormous leverage" on government workers.
A security expert and former member of the US Special Operations Command, Michael Adams, said,
Whoever compromised the adjudication information is going to have clear knowledge, beyond what's in the SF86, about who the best targets for espionage are in the United States.
Another former US official believes this breach poses more of a threat to national security than the leaks committed by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.
What makes the breach uniquely dangerous, Adams added, is the government workers with the highest security clearances had to disclose the most personal information.