China is suspected of being responsible for the hacking of the data of millions of US government employees. The United States Office of Personnel Management and the Department of the Interior were compromised by hackers this past December. Data on millions of government employees were compromised by hackers who US officials are claiming were working for the Chinese State, making this the biggest US government hack to date, according to HackRead. The hack was discovered this past April, while OPM employees were attempting to upgrade the agency’s cyber security with new tools. According to the BBC the Chinese government has already responded to these claims by calling them ‘irresponsible’. Despite this rebuttal, there seems to be some evidence that this might be the case. Citing the private security firm iSight Partners, the Washington Post reports that the group behind this hack was the same as the one that hacked the health insurance company Anthem, which the FBI suspect was perpetrated by hackers working for the Chinese government. It is suspected that every US agency could be affected by this hack
The exact motive of the hack is of yet unclear, though it it suspected that just as in the recent IRS hack, the data will ultimately be used for financial gain. The hacked data consisted of a lot of sensitive information, such as employee social security information, job assignments, training information and performance ratings. This leaked data could be used in ‘spear-phishing’ emails; emails designed to use sensitive information to lull recipients into thinking the emails are legitimate before having them open malicious attachments. In light of this, the affected employees will be offered 18 months of free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance.
Do you believe the Chinese are responsible for the hack? And if this is the case, to what end?