Chinese hackers are the chief suspects in a cyber-attack which has compromised the personal information of over 4 million US federal workers. Some are citing the attack as the largest theft of government data in history..
The US Department of Homeland Security has announced that its intrusion detection system, nicknamed Einstein, detected the attack and that an FBI investigation is underway.
The attack targeted the Office of Personnel Management, a government agency tasked with hiring and retaining government workers. The agency has been subject to security breaches in the past but it’s understood that this is a separate attack.
The Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that OPM and Interior Department data was exfiltrated at the beginning of May 2015. The OPM conducts the vast majority of background checks on government employees, leading to concerns that information on intelligence agency workers could have been exposed.
China is often a suspect in state-sponsored attacks, but it’s currently unclear what level of evidence there is to support allegations against Chinese government actors. It can be notoriously difficult to identify the origin of attacks of this nature.
Here in the UK, security breaches affect many hundreds of businesses each year causing particular havoc for organisations which deal with sensitive data. If you are concerned about the security of your network, contact the TMB team for advice. Call 0333 900 9050.
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