U.S. News & World Report: China Suspected in Theft of Federal Employee Records

Posted on Jun 5, 2015 in Quoted by Press |


OPM

China Suspected in Theft of Federal Employee Records

In anĀ  article in U.S. News & World Report, technology and business reporter Tom Risen asked industry experts about the breach at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management that affected millions as personally identifiable information is becoming more valuable on the black market. Protegrity CEO Suni Munshani shared his thoughts.


 

What may be the largest breach of federal government data in history appears to have originated in China, according to reports citing U.S. officials investigating the theft of employee records that affected up to 4 million current and former government workers.

The data theft announced by the Office of Personnel Management on Thursday was first detected in April, but the intrusion could have begun last year. Officials with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are investigating, and OPM will notify those potentially affected by the breach beginning June 8. Victims will be offered credit monitoring services and identity theft insurance.

Federal investigators strongly suspect the enormous breach originated in China, with hackers targeting personally identifiable information including Social Security numbers. iSight Partners, a private cybersecurity firm, also says the OPM breach bears similarities to the work of hackers who targeted health insurers Premera Blue Cross and Anthem Inc., the nation’s second-largest health insurance company.

It was unclear whether the latest attack was sponsored by the Chinese government, according to The New York Times. But the breach is the latest example of poor U.S. government cybersecurity, says Suni Munshani, CEO of data security firm Protegrity.

 

Hackers recently have accessed the networks of federal offices including the White House, State Department and U.S. Postal Service.

 

“It’s inexcusable for a government agency to allow a data breach like this to occur,” Munshani says. “The names and personal information of our government employees are a vital asset to our country and should not be allowed to get in the hands of a foreign government.”

The full article can be found here.