Friday, June 12, 2015

Chinese Hackers Could Have Your Personal Information


Thursday June 5th -The Obama Administration  announced what appears to be one of the largest breaches of  federal employees’ data, involving at least four million current and former government workers in an intrusion that officials said apparently originated in China.

What no tells you  about data breaches of this nature is it's not just the noted folks that these hackers gain access to. They gain access to any noted spouses, children, business ventures, etc - anything that is linked to your name and the source they hacked.
The Federal Government investigates their potential and on-board employees nine ways to Sunday. It's been reported that one Federal Personnel dossier can have as much as 700 plus pieces of data attached to it. If you work for them it's a safe bet they may know the last time you peed in your front yard. They certainly have a record of who you married, your kid's info, your financial info, who you dated --- well pretty much everything about you. So when your information falls into the hands of hackers, so does the information of those attached to you.

The compromised data in the hack that is the focus of this post was held by the Office of Personnel Management. OPM  handles government security clearances and federal employee records. The breach was first detected in April, the office said, but it appears to have begun at least late last year.

That's a long time for nefarious entities to have private information on millions of Americans. Who knows what they've done with it.

The target of  the hack appeared to be Social Security numbers and other personal identifying information. It is not confirmed whether the attack was related to commercial gain or espionage. The announcement of the intrusion came on the same day The New York Times reported that the National Security Agency had expanded surveillance of foreign hackers, an effort that could sweep up the information of innocent Americans.

Speaking of the NSA - maybe they should spend more time watching  the Chinese and less time snooping on Americans.

While Federal officials are adamant that the hack originated in China, they couldn't confirm if it was Chinese state-supported.

The Obama Administration has been the victim more technology backlash than any other Administration before it.  There was the HealthCare.gov computer fiasco that almost sabotaged the launch of Obama's legacy defining healthcare initiative.

In 2014, the White House and the State Department found their email systems had been compromised in an attack that was attributed to Russian hackers. In that case, some of President Obama’s unclassified emails were reported to be in the possession of intruders.

In the summer of 2014, the personnel office announced an intrusion in which hackers appeared to have targeted the files of tens of thousands of workers who had applied for top-secret security clearances.

Now this breach counts as a fourth  major weak link related to important federal computer systems.

It seems to me the watchdog of our nation would have a more ironclad  holding tank for their own employees.

The breach has raised my awareness to the point I question how vulnerable are our other national branches to attack? How vulnerable are we to attacks on our data held by others?



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